Recipe: Broccoli and Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is an easy, cheap version of therapy for me.  Well, I should clarify that cooking risotto is an easy, cheap version of therapy for me.

risotto on plate 6 - edited

Eating it is good, too.  I’ll never forget my first taste of risotto (made by a professional chef – not by own hands).  The experience stunned me.  That creamy, rich and bright delicious first bite ranks high amongst my greatest food experiences.

But cooking risotto is even better.

People say it’s difficult.  They say it’s tricky or precarious or too easy to ruin.

I say: Bah!

risoto with vegetables 2 - edited

None of that is true in my own experience.  Risotto takes more attention than a casserole or a soup, maybe, but it is attention that I’m glad to give.  The slow, deliberate process behind a good risotto is better than meditation or a good sleep for calming any negative energy or frayed nerves that I my be harboring.  I’m drawn to the smell of the dry rice toasting up before any liquid is added.  Then I am soothed by swirling the small batches of broth into the pan, time and time again.

The gentle stirring is like a lullaby and the scents like the very best aromatherapy.

Plus, I am continually fascinated by the transformation of a small pile of dry rice into a heaping mound of creamy, rich risotto.

It’s pure culinary brilliance.

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Broccoli and Mushroom Risotto

A Move Eat Create Original Recipe, inspired by countless recipes viewed over time

Serves 4-6

Feel free to use this recipe as a guideline for quantities and method.  If broccoli isn’t your thing, you could easily sub asparagus, for instance.  No mushrooms on hand?  Try zucchini or yellow squash.  The vegetables, as well as the herbs, can easily be adapted to your preference and pantry staples.

Ingredients: risotto cooking 6 - edited

  • 2 cups mushrooms, diced (I used a mixture of portobello and white button)
  • 7 cups vegetable broth (consider making your own)
  • 1 tblspn olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 tspn salt
  • ½ tspn black pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups (about 1 small head) broccoli, chopped finely
  • 1 tblspn Earth Balance (may sub butter or other butter substitute)
  • 1 tblspn nutritional yeast (can sub Parmesan if not vegan)
  • 1 tblspn fresh marjoram, chopped
  • 1 tblspn fresh basil, chopped

Directions:

  1. Pre-cook your mushrooms by tossing them into a large non-stick pan over medium heat.  Cook for 3-4 minutes, until they shrink in size a bit and start to brown.  Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. In the meantime, pour your vegetable broth into a large saucepan over medium-low heat.  You’ll want to keep the broth warm through the cooking process, as it should not be added to the rice cold.
  3. Add oil to the pan.  Once warmed, add shallot and garlic.  Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until they are translucent and fragrant.
  4. Toss your rice, salt, and pepper into the pan with the shallot and garlic.  Toast the rice briefly, about 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Increase heat slightly, then add wine.  Mix ingredients together and let the wine deglaze the pan and cook off for 1-2 minutes.  Once the wine has cooked down, lower heat again to just below medium.
  5. Begin to add your warm broth in ½ cup increments.  Between each addition, stir rice frequently, mixing the broth into the ingredients slowly and deliberately.  When most of the broth is absorbed, add the next ½ cup full.  Continue this process until all but 1 cup of the broth is used and rice has become soft and very plump.  This process should take somewhere around 30 minutes.
  6. When its time to add in the second to last ½ cup of broth, add broccoli to the pan.  Stir together broccoli, rice, and broth.
  7. With the last ½ cup of broth, add pre-cooked mushrooms.  Stir mushrooms and final batch of broth into the rice.  When all broth has been absorbed, turn off heat.
  8. Add Earth Balance, nutritional yeast, and fresh herbs to the pan and stir gently to incorporate all ingredients together.  The heat from the risotto will melt the Earth Balance and help blend all ingredients together.  Serve immediately.