Think of the taste of a french onion soup dressed as a risotto. That’s kind of what comes to mind when tasting this risotto. The rice is sticky and soft outside and al dente with a bite on the inside. Firm enough to plate as a sculpture if desired and soft enough easily scoop a spoon through.
I have chosen the shallot instead of the universal yellow onion, since it has a milder flavour, but also has a distinct taste that fits well with a soup or porridge, where the flavour explodes in every corner of your mouth. Slightly caramelized but no too much, not too sweet only a light sweet note.
When cooking the risotto then add the plant milk a little at the time. You don’t want to completely boil the rice, but make then creamy and textured, therefore the liquids are added in steps as shown in the photos.
The cooking time of the rice itself may vary depending of the size pan you have, how much heat you use and so on, but the cooking time should be at least 30 minutes, sometimes more, since you want the rice to cook fully through. It’s fairly easy to do as long as you stir on occasion to evenly cook the rice.
This dish is a perfect starter, since it’s extremely flavourful. As a main course it might be challenging since you’d need a fairly large portion to get full, and it’d be too flavourful, caramelized, heavy and you’d not want to use as much shallots, but then the magic would disappear. As a smaller gourmet style version of risotto this is a fancy starter that would impress!
Serves 4 as main or 6 or more as starter
- 2.5 dl arborio rice (1 cup)
- 700ml unsweetened almond milk (3 cups)
- 1.2 dl water if needed (½ cup)
- 6-8 long shallots (depends on size)
- 3 tablespoons Vegan Parmesan Sprinkle
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamico
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter / margarine
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly grind pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grind nutmeg
Topping suggestions (optional)
- Vegan Parmesan Sprinkle
- Sliced pring onions
What you will need
- Cutting board and knife
- 1 pan
- 1 spoon to stir
- Spoons to measure
- 1 measuring cup
- 1 stainless steel plating mold, round or square (optional)
- Peel and chop the shallots. Cut them once on the long side, then thinly slice them all the way down half moon style. Put all the shallots in the pan with the sugar, vegan butter, olive oil, pepper, salt and nutmeg.
- Turn the heat on high and soften the shallots. When clear, turn the heat to low and continue to caramelize while stirring occasionally. Continue some 15 minutes or until the shallots are golden.
- Add in the arborio rice to the shallots. Fry the rice until they start to become translucent. Then add in 1/3 of the plant milk. Turn the heat up to medium/low bring to a simmer, stirring often for about 10 minutes.
- When the rice has soaked up some of the liquid add in another 1/3 of the plant milk along with the balsamico. Bring to a simmer and stir on occasion for about 10 minutes
- When the rice starts to thicken again add in the remaining 1/3 of the plant milk, continue to simmer and stir for about 10 minutes.
- When the risotto starts to thicken you can test if the rice has fully cooked. If not, then add in the extra optional water and continue to stir while cooking. The rice should have a sticky texture on the outside, but a firm al dente texture on the inside, without being too hard or uncooked. The texture of the risotto should be like a thick porridge, still wet and soft, but firm enough to see the pan when you stir.
- When the risotto rice has fully cooked put in the Vegan Parmesan Sprinkle and mix well.
- Plate the risotto by pouring the rice into a stainless steel plating mold, then pressing it out to create a beautiful sculpture (optional). Sprinkle with fresh spring onion and more parmesan.
- Notes: For the serving size pictured, this recipe will make 4 servings, but its a generous size starter (but not as big as a main course), if you wish to make a smaller starter portion size there will be enough for 6 servings.