Our friends at the Grand Rapids Cooking School were kind enough to share one of their delicious spring recipes:
Risotto is actually a method of preparing rice, which is where the dish gets its namesake. The method involves coating the rice grains in fat and then slowly adding in a liquid. It’s a blank canvas from there on out.
The spring, when many parts of the country see asparagus and early greens coming into season, is a great time to whip up a simple and very healthy vegetable-heavy risotto. The only trick is employing some patience while you gently simmer and stir in the liquid little by little. Beyond that, it’s difficult to really botch it. When finished, if you want to add some fresh grated Parmesan cheese over top, it would really round out the dish, but then it would be vegetarian instead of vegan. Furthermore, this dish goes great with a simple pan-seared chicken breast with lemon. If you make sure to not let the onions caramelize, and use white pepper, this dish will really POP a pure, bright yellow from the saffron; it’s gorgeous.
Come learn more about cooking from scratch at Grand Rapids Cooking School. We try to source local, organic, and sustainable ingredients when possible. And, we’re very friendly : )
SPRING VEGETABLE SAFFRON RISOTO (vegan)
2.67 oz olive oil
0.33 oz garlic, chopped
2.67 oz onion, medium dice
0.33 lb arborio rice
2 oz white wine
1 pint vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
scant 1/2 tsp saffron threads
1lb seasonal vegetables, blanched if necessary
salt and white pepper, to taste
2/3 tbsp parsley, chopped
Heat 2 oz (1/4 cup) of olive oil in heavy saucepot. Add garlic and onion and sweat for 1 minute. Add rice and coat with oil. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add 1/3 of the stock, bay leaf and saffron and raise heat to medium-low to gently simmer. Stir and cook the rice until it has absorbed the stock. Add remaining stock a ladle at a time and cook until the rice is creamy, stirring often.
In a separate pan, saute the seasonal vegetable(s) in the remaining oil until tender. Add the cooked vegetables to the rice and stir to combine.
The rice should be cooked firm to the bite, not mushy.
Season with salt and white pepper. Garnish with parsley.