Shrooms & Greens Risotto
When I was a little girl I used to say that Mushroom risotto was my favourite dinner. For years it was. It was mainly because my mum made such a cracking one and I remember always eating it in a particular way – all the way round the edges and spiralling into the middle, with it being hot mum used to say “work from the outside in” and it always stayed with me so thats how I still eat it. So I guess it’s a very comforting dish to me because it makes me all nostalgic for my childhood! When I first turned veggie it was all any restaurants would offer me and I got bored of it and it can be really uninspiring when no love has gone into it.
So when I turned vegan I needed to find a way to make a vegan version that was just as delicious. This dish is a great combination of fresh and creamy. It’s great for when you need a night off the spicy food (Danny would probably say other wise and I’m sure he puts some sort of hot sauce on top!) and it’s generally enjoyed by kids too.
In this recipe, I roast the mushrooms in the oven and sprinkle them on top at the end as I think it gives the mushrooms a great texture and intensifies the flavour. You can, however, make this a one-pot dish and add them into the mixture along with the other vegetables. But I would recommend the oven route if you’re not fussed about washing up another pan!
Jamie Oliver taught me to add in fresh fennel to begin with and it really boosts the flavour. Thanks Jamie – we love you. You have to take your time with this one, as it involves a lot of massaging and feeding it ladles of stock at the right moments, so the rice cooks evenly. It really is about caring for it, giving it some love and you will taste the benefits. Pop some music on and crack that white wine open… just remember to save a glass for the cooking.
Shrooms & Greens Risotto
A take on the creamy rice dish, with deep earthy mushrooms and refreshing greens for goodness.
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 knobs vegan butter
- 1 leek or white onion
- 1 small fennel bulb or 2 sticks of celery
- 3 garlic cloves
- 20 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 200 g mixed mushrooms oyster, shitake and chestnut work well
- 200 g frozen peas
- 1 courgette or broccoli
- 400 g aborio risotto rice
- 100 ml vegan white wine
- 1 litre veg stock
- 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast heaped
- 6 Tbsp oat cream we use Oatly
- 200 g spinach
- 1 lemon
- 4 fresh sage leaves optional
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh basil leaves optional
- vegan parmesan optional
Start by soaking the dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl with 200ml boiling water and set to one side. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c then move on to preparing your veggies. Halve the leek lengthways, then slice into half moons, thinly slice the fennel bulb and save the top bits to one side to add to the stock. Slice and quarter the courgettes, thinly slice the garlic and cut the bigger mushrooms into half or quarters so they are of a similar size and get rid of any woody ends.
Pop the mushrooms into a baking tray with a trickle of oil and season with salt and pepper. Add a sprinkling of fresh thyme and cook them in oven for around 25 minutes, set a timer so you don't forget about them.
Prep the veg stock in a large saucepan with about a litre of boiling water, add in the fennel tips and then turn it down to a simmer to keep warm. In another wide based pan, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and when hot, add the leeks, fennel, a knob of butter and a pinch of salt. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until they start to soften, then add the garlic and courgettes and stir for 2 more minutes.
Next, add the rice to the pan and stir to incorporate everything together, before adding in the white wine. Cook off the wine, stirring frequently until the rice has absorbed most of it.
Then, carefully pick out the re-hydrated porcini mushrooms (reserving the stock you've made) and add these to the pan along with the fresh sage leaves and stir. Slowly add the mushroom stock to the pan, carefully leaving out the gritty bits at the bottom. Now continue to stir the rice pouring in a ladle of veg stock at a time, only adding the next when the rice has absorbed most of the last, stirring frequently in figures of eight.
Keep adding the stock a ladle at a time until the stock has gone and/or the rice is cooked through. You can always add a splash of water if the stock runs out. Add the peas, spinach, nutritional yeast, oat cream, juice of half a lemon, another knob of butter and a good seasoning of salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes. Check the seasoning and add more if needed. Sprinkle the mushrooms on top, with some grated vegan parmesan cheese and tear up a few basil leaves to scatter over each portion, then leave to rest for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!