risotto plated (1).jpg

 I found myself needing some comfort food today so decided to make a risotto.  And I have been studying up on whole grains all week, so thought I would give brown rice a try.  Did you know that white rice is basically brown rice stripped of all of its nutritious stuff?  The key to using brown rice is to soak it ahead of time.  Overnight is great but 4 hours will do.  You put it in a bowl, cover it with water, throw in a stick of kombu,  (Japanese dried seaweed) a green tea tea bag, and leave it until you’re ready to cook.  Your brown rice begins to sprout and will cook much faster and turn out much softer then the unsoaked version.  The green tea and kombu add a big nutritional boost and makes the savory flavors of your risotto that much better.  

Cooking time:  35 minutes

Yields:  6 big bowls

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/2 pound (about 1/2 bunch) asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups uncooked short-grain brown rice
  • 2 cups sliced, fresh mushrooms (whatever are your favorite)
  • 2/3 cup grated vegan Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of truffle salt or sea salt, or more to taste
  • pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Bring broth and water to a boil in a medium pot. Add asparagus and simmer until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to a bowl of ice water until well chilled, then drain and set aside. Cover broth-water mixture and bring back to a simmer cuz its got good stuff in it and we are gonna use every drop!

3. Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.

4. Add rice and cook, stirring gently, until toasted and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes.

 risotto browning rice2

5. Add 1 cup of the broth-water mixture and cook, stirring constantly and adjusting heat to maintain a simmer, until liquid is almost absorbed. Repeat process, adding about 1/2 cup of the broth-water mixture each time, until rice is just beginning to get tender, about 25 minutes.

6. When rice is just al dente, add mushrooms and truffle oil and cook 5 minutes more. (If broth mixture gets low, add water as needed.) 

risotto stirring all together (1)

7. Stir asparagus into rice and cook until hot throughout, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add cheese, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add about 1/2 cup more of the broth-water mixture to finished risotto before serving, depending upon how thin or thick you like it.

8.  Serve it up with a sprinkle of vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast.  Yum!

May it bring the comfort of good food to you as it did to me today 🙂