Risotto is incredible. It’s a super creamy, delicious rice dish that’s easy to customize. It has a reputation for being tricky to cook, but as long as you keep an eye on it and keep stirring it, you shouldn’t have any trouble! My dad taught me to make risotto when I was 14, and I’ve since adjusted his recipe to make it vegan.
I’ve included two different variations in this recipe, since they’re both very yummy, but very different! You can add all sorts of things to risotto to make it interesting. Celery, peas, mushrooms, carrots… the list goes on and on. If you don’t drink alcohol, go ahead and add an extra cup of stock and a splash of vinegar to imitate the effect the wine has on the dish.
Prep time: ~30 minutes
- 1 cup arborio rice.
- 2 tbsp olive oil.
- 1 small onion, finely diced.
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced.
- ~3 cups vegetable stock (may need more or less, depends on how the rice behaves).
- Salt and pepper, to taste.
For the white wine and vegetable risotto:
- 1 cup white wine.
- 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced into quarter-moons.
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced.
For the red wine and mushroom risotto:
- 1 cup red wine.
- 1 small handful dried mushrooms (porcini are the best, but a mixed variety is nice too).
- drizzle of truffle oil to garnish (optional!).
Both of these risottos start out the same way: place a large saucepan on medium heat, and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the arborio rice and fry for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Next, add the onions and garlic and fry for another two minutes, stirring often to prevent everything from sticking. Add the wine and mix it into the rice well. Cook until the wine is absorbed into the rice, stirring often to make sure no rice gets stuck to the bottom of the pot.
If you’re making the vegetable risotto, now’s the time to add the bell pepper.
Add the vegetable stock in half-cup increments, waiting each time for the stock to get absorbed. Keep on stirring.
Once two cups of stock has been absorbed properly, it’s time to add the zucchini, if you’re making the vegetable risotto, or the mushrooms, if you’re making the mushroom risotto.
Keep adding the stock and stirring it until the rice is plump and tender. How much stock you’ll need to use with depend on your rice. Some brands need a lot of liquid before they’re properly cooked.
Season with salt and pepper, and serve piping hot! If you made the mushroom risotto, drizzle a little bit of truffle oil (or olive oil) over the top to be fancy.