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Zucchini & Porcini Mushroom Risotto

Posted by: admin in: ● November 14, 2010

After my initial go at risotto back in January was a big success (see Butternut Squash Risotto), I decided to try a different interpretation this time. I ran a search for vegetarian risotto and stumbled upon this vegan version with raving reviews so I thought, why not? I’m on a major non-animal product kick lately so this fit the bill, and BOY did it work out well! May be even better than the first and was quite a bit easier to make… you decide for yourself!

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. olive oil + 1/2 cup at end
2 medium finely chopped onions
1 head finely chopped celery
1 tbsp minced garlic (or 3 minced cloves)
freshly ground salt & peper
1 3/4 cups arborio rice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
4 cups vegetable or mushroom broth
8 oz. dry porcini mushrooms
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 handful of fresh basil – julienne-d (I like to roll up and cut thin strips with kitchen scissors)

Directions:

1. Start by rehydrating your mushrooms – add about 1-2 cups of hot water, just enough to cover the mushrooms, and set aside. Occasionally give them a stir to ensure the water is absorbed while you move on to the next steps.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and saute onions, celery and garlic until soft, about 15 min.
3. Now… while this is going on, saute your zucchini in a separate pan with another tablespoon of olive oil, then set aside.
4. Begin to heat the vegetable broth in a separate saucepan and keep hot/near boiling.
5. Going back to your onion mixture from step 2, after they’re cooked and soft, add the rice, salt & pepper and cook 3-5 minutes until rice is translucent.
6. Next, add the white wine to the onion/rice mixture, turn heat to medium/high and cook until wine is absorbed, stirring constantly. Begin to ladle hot vegetable broth into rice mixture, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Each time the liquid is absorbed, add more broth, all the while stirring your yummy risotto-in-the-making.
7. When you’ve added about half of your broth, add the sauteed zucchini and porcini mushrooms to your rice mixture. Continue to add liquid until all the broth is absorbed and rice is tender.
8. Finally, stir the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and add your chopped or julienned fresh basil. Season to taste with additional salt & pepper if desired – your risotto is complete!
9. Presentation is everything so put it on a pretty plate and add something nutritious and green to keep it company (I roasted some asparagus with EVOO and salt & pepper under my oven’s broiler, but any vegetable or salad will do nicely).
10. Pour yourself a nice glass of wine and enjoy this delectable, animal & planet friendly dish slowly, savoring each flavor, bite by bite.

YUMaste!

Perfection!
Broth is warming, while the onions are sauteing…
Just added the wine…
In with the mushrooms!

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