There might be hardly anyone who won’t smack their lips with the mention of risotto if they have tasted it before. The creamy Italian rice dish just melts in one’s mouth and leave pleasant memories on their taste buds. If you want to make risotto but want it to be vegan, don’t worry! Although it needs a little efforts and bit know-how to make a perfect risotto, the method is relatively easy, and the outcome is yummy.
In fact, a vegan risotto can be much more delicious than the traditional versions made with cheese and butter, as you can add numerous extra flavors such as spices, fresh herbs, mushrooms and maybe some wine, instead of counting on only a layer of parmesan cheese for flavor. Here are a few tips that will help you make your vegan risotto perfect.
1. Start with Onions and Garlic Heated in Good Oil
Flavor is the heart and soul of vegan cooking. Since there is no meat and butter, flavor has to be created from ingredients like onions, garlic and olive oil.
It’s a general rule to start making risotto by sautéing a lot of fresh onions and garlic in a nice oil, preferably olive oil. Use more of each ingredient than you normally would. This rule can be flexible but shouldn’t be broken. So, you can use any kind of onions and can add other things, but you should essentially begin with onions and garlic heated in a pan with some good oil.
The next step is to toast the rice. If you want your vegan risotto to be really nice, you can add more of olive oil at this stage, and also a bit of white wine to deglaze the pan, but this is not necessary.
2. Stir Continuously
Remember that the best risotto is made by stirring continuously. You can be flexible with this rule and rest your hand for a few seconds. But you should do it every minute at least. This is because unlike non-vegan risottos which get their creamy texture from cheese and butter, you have to rely more on causing the rice to release its starches for creaminess.
3. Add Special Flavors
Add some special flavors while it simmers. These should include whole cloves, a couple of bay leaves or dried shiitake mushrooms.
4. Top Off
Usually risotto is topped off with parmesan cheese; but vegan risottos can be topped off with sea salt or freshly powdered pepper, a little garlic salt, some nutritional yeast, or all these.
Whether you’d like to add wine or not to your risotto, and whether you want to make a classic risotto or something different, there’s a vegan risotto recipe for you out there. Try these tips and win the hearts of your family and guests with the perfect vegan risotto.