I finally did it! I made risotto. And I must say, it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be!
Over the summer, Nate and I visited this incredible vegan fine dining restaurant on our trip to Asheville, NC called Plant. If you’ve ever have the chance to go to Asheville, DO IT! Not only does it sit smack dab in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains, but it is also a vegan and vegetarian haven (as well as a brewery haven if you’re into beer, like us). It’s such a beautiful, green city full of active things to do and amazing eats. Check out my previous post about all of our vegan culinary adventures there!
Anyways, back to Plant. I ordered (and devoured) the most incredible vegan risotto of my life while I was there. It was rich, it was creamy, and it definitely did not taste vegan at all. In that moment, I knew I needed to attempt to recreate that magical dish. But everything I had heard about risotto sounded complicated, time consuming, and frankly, not vegan. So I put it off… until now.
When I finally started doing some research on vegan risotto, there were a lot of different ideas out there. Of course I wanted to take the simplest route I could, but I still wanted those rich, creamy results. Finally, I stumbled upon this recipe and it looked simple enough, so I used it as my inspiration.
As I began the long process of adding broth and stirring for 2-3 minutes (then repeating), I was unsure if I was doing it right or what my rice should be looking like. I played around with my heat at lot, but settled on a steady medium heat (on my burner, that’s a 4-5 out of 9). This allowed the rice to soak up ½ cup of broth in about 3 minutes before I added the next scoop. About 30 minutes in, my rice was still hard and it looked like there was no end in sight! I tell you, I almost gave up right then and there!
But around the 45 minutes mark, I started to see a lot more creaminess and thickness (both in my rice and the consistency of the whole dish) and I felt a whole lot better. By the 60 minute mark, my rice tasted perfect, the consistency was creamy, and the asparagus was tender, with a bit of a crunch. I added in a tablespoon of butter and that took the dish right to where it needed to be. Creamy perfection!
So if risotto is an intimidating dish to you… I completely understand! But it’s definitely doable and the result is so worth it. Believe me, it’s unlike any rice dish I have ever made before. And let’s face it, if I can do it, so can you!