Risotto is like the grown up version of Mac and Cheese, isn't it? A big bowl of that creamy yummy warm goodness on a cold or gloomy day- I'm pretty sure that's as close to a perfect night as one could get. No, wait, add a glass of red wine to that- now that is a perfect night. I've always loved risotto, but have never actually made it, until now. That's mainly because I didn't want to spend 45 minutes hovering over the stove, spooning in tiny amounts of broth at a time, stirring, waiting- repeating until it magically turns into risotto. This takes that tedious step out of it, as instead it's baked in the oven. Talk about easy-peasy. And delicious, too.
Oil for sautéing, coconut or preferred oil of your choice
1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups arborio* rice that has not been rinsed
5 cups vegetable broth, divided (you can also sub some of the broth for water you’re in a pinch)
1/2-1 teaspoon salt, to taste
14 ounces sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup dry white wine or light beer
3 tablespoons plant-based butter or olive oil
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos or soy sauce
Chives for garnish
Freshly ground pepper, for garnish
*You can not substitute just any rice for this dish, Arborio rice is unique in it’s starch ratio, leaving you with a thick and creamy risotto.
*If you halve this recipe (as I did) pay extra attention to the cooking time as it will need to be reduced.
*Leftovers stay well in the fridge, makes 6 portions.
Preheat the oven to 375°F on the convection setting, make sure that a rack is in the middle of the oven.
Slice your onions as small as you can get it- you want them to sort of melt into the risotto once they’re cooked down instead of having chunks of onion sticking out.
In a large pan over medium heat add a little oil, once hot add the onions and cool until they are translucent and are on their way to caramelization. Then add in the minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add in the rice and give it a good stir to coat it in oil from the onion/garlic mixture. Salt to taste (roughly 1/2-1 teaspoon of mineral salt), it’s always best to salt the risotto before it cooks, this way the rice absorbs the flavor, instead of salting the finished product.
Add in 4 cups of broth, stir, and bring to a boil.
Pour the mixture into an oven safe pot with an oven safe lid (just google pyrex oven safe pot if you’re confused- it should have a glass or ceramic lid to fit).
Place in oven and bake until the rice is cooked through, about 60-70 minutes. The water should be absorbed when you take it out. The cooking time will vary on your oven, so at the 40 minute mark check on it and give it a taste- if the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender with a slight bite, then it’s done- if not, continue cooking for the remaining time, check periodically.
While the risotto is baking:
Sauté the mushrooms, in the pan you used previously, until all the water has evaporated and they’re shrunken in size and tender. Set aside.
Once the risotto is pulled from the oven, heat up the remaining broth and pour it over the risotto, along with the wine/beer, butter/oil and liquid aminos/soy sauce, and stir until incorporated.
The risotto should soak up most of the liquid and start to ‘fall onto itself’ as you continue to mix it. Lastly, mix in the mushrooms.
Spoon into bowls and garnish with freshly chopped chives and freshly ground pepper.
Recipe inspired by Cookie and Kate.
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