October 07, 2009

EnviroMom Meatless Supper Club: A Vegan Risotto

I love risotto. Creamy, cheesy rice--what's not to like? Unless you have a dairy allergic kid, in which case it's off the menu. So I was intrigued by this meatless, dairy-free risotto recipe that promised all the creaminess without the cheese. It was from a Moosewood Collective cookbook that has rarely steered me wrong. (If I ever make a life list, eating at the Moosewood Restaurant will be on it.)

The results: It took about 30 minutes to make, from start to finish. We ate this meal twice, once fresh and once as leftovers, with a garden salad. Both times my husband and I agreed that we liked the dish--both flavor and texture--but it wasn't super filling. Our toddler thought it was great. Our preschooler took one bite and decided he didn't like it. The taste was pretty mild, so I don't think there would be anything I could change in the recipe to make it more palatable. He's just in a phase where he doesn't like his foods all jumbled up together.

The verdict: I'll keep this one in mind for when I need something fairly quick and easy, but it probably won't go into regular rotation. At least not as a main dish.  Tasty, but not satisfying enough to be the star of the meal.

Recipe below the jump, plus check out the other Supper Club participants' recipes over at EnviroMom...

(from Moosewood Restaurant Low-fat Favorites)

2 c tomato juice (can replace up to 1/2 c with white wine)
3 c water or vegetable stock
1 vegetable bouillon cube
3 c fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 c minced onions
2 t olive oil
1.5 c arborio rice
2 c diced zucchini
1 t salt
1 c chopped tomatoes
2 T chopped fresh basil
ground black pepper to taste

Cooking instructions:
Combine the tomato juice, water or stock, and bouillon cube in a pot and bring to a simmer. Transfer 1 cup of the broth to a blender, add 1.5 cups of the corn, and purée until smooth. Stir the puréed corn into the simmering broth. Set aside the remaining corn kernels.

In a separate, heavy saucepan, preferably nonstick, combine the onions and the oil and sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the rice, stirring with a wooden spoon to avoid breaking the grains, until the rice is coated with oil.

Ladle about a cup of the broth into the rice and stir constantly for several minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed. Add the zucchini and another cup of broth. Continue to stir frequently, adding a cup of broth every few minutes for the next 15 minutes, until all of the broth has been added and the rice is tender and firm. Add the reserved corn, the salt, tomatoes, basil and pepper to taste. Cook for another minute or so and serve immediately.

Makes 4-6 generous portions.

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