Risotto is a dish that everyone seems to love loading up with butter and cheese. A simple google search for the term risotto is proof of that. However, I am here to tell you that this asparagus risotto can be made deliciously without any animal products! Risotto is made with a short-grain rice such as Arborio that releases starch as it cooks, which creates the creamy, sticky texture that makes it such a satisfying meal.
It’s important to understand that the process of cooking risotto is key to creating this texture. We can achieve this by adding a little bit of vegetable broth(about half a cup at a time) and letting it be absorbed by the rice completely before adding more. Stirring the risotto frequently will help release the starch from the rice which will further add to the creaminess of the finished product.
As for replacing the butter, that’s simple! I like to start my risotto the way I start a rice pilaf, by sautéing onions and garlic in a little olive oil until golden. These three key ingredients are the base for many of my recipes and create a wonderful flavor profile that squashes the need for dairy. In addition to this flavor base, I tend to use vegetables such as mushrooms or butternut squash and kale as the main source of color and taste. However, if the cheesy flavor gets your tastebuds going, you could always add a little bit of nutritional yeast(which I did for this asparagus risotto) and maybe even a squeeze of lemon juice to create a hint of cheese-like flavor.
While the possibilities for risotto are endless, the bottom line is that this dish can easily be made into a delicious, nutritious vegan meal. Enjoy!
Do you have a favorite risotto dish? Tell me about it in the comments!
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 10 asparagus spears
- Chop the asparagus into medium sized chunks and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a saucepan that is wider than it is high and add the chopped onion and finely grated garlic.
- Saute the onions and garlic until the edges turn a slight golden color.
- Stir in the rice and cook for another minute or two.
- In another saucepan, simmer the vegetable broth on low heat.
- Add a half cup of the heated broth to the rice and stir.
- Once the broth has been completely absorbed, add another half cup and repeat until all of the broth has been used.
- Add the asparagus about halfway through the cooking time. This will allow the asparagus to soften without overcooking it.