Vegan Brown Rice Pumpkin Risotto
As I am sure you have already gathered, this is not a traditional risotto. I have actually never made a traditional risotto before even though I used to like ordering it when we ate out. I have watched a few cooking shows with a traditional dairy based risotto and it honestly looks like finicky hard work. I remember a Jamie Oliver episode where he was adamant that you had to serve it straight away or else the risotto texture disappears.
I know you are supposed to used white arborio rice for risottos but I avoid white rice at home. Not that white rice is anywhere near as damaging to our health as white bread but I still prefer the extra nutrients and fibre in brown rice. I also am no longer used to white rice and am not really a fan of the texture any more, but you can always sub in white rice for this recipe if you prefer. For me it is the gluggy texture of risotto that makes it taste like risotto as opposed to other rice dishes. I find that if you cook your brown rice in extra water it becomes sticky and gluggy and really starts to give off a risotto feel. To be honest my family has always cooked rice this way. In Romanian cooking rice is usually served with that sticky gluggy consistency as opposed to the perfectly cooked asian or indian type rice where you can seperate every grain, so I am used to it and still cook my rice this way even when I am making Asian or Indian rice at home! Its probably one of the reasons I never saw the need for a rice cooker because rice cookers make the rice come out too perfect!
This risotto does not follow the traditional cooking steps of risotto making but the end product is very similar in my opinion and really really delicious. I actually came up with this recipe after we ate a traditional pumpkin risotto at an Italian Restaurant. I loved it so much I asked the chef for the recipe and although he didn’t want to share all his secrets with me, he did tell me all the ingredients involved and I took it from there. I started making it at home my way, not really following the proper steps and ate it on a regular basis. When I decided to cut out the dairy I came up with a really yummy cream to use instead, and you know what, it is better than the original! We like serving this up with my vegan parmesan and some extra parsley. You can find the recipe for the vegan parmesan here http://hazelandcacao.com/vegan-parmesan-cheese/ or similar versions all over the internet. Hope you enjoy the recipe, it may not be overly traditional, but for a vegan version I think it comes pretty close!
|Vegan Brown Rice Pumpkin Risotto|| |
- 1 cup medium grain brown rice
- 4 cups water
- pinch salt
- PUMPKIN RISOTTO:
- Half butternut or jap pumpkin - cut into small cubes and roasted
- 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion - finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves - crushed
- salt and pepper to taste
- handful of parsley
- VEGAN CREAM:
- ⅓ cup cashews
- 1 cup soy milk
- juice half a lemon
- 1 tsp tahini
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 TBSP nutritional yeast
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- STEP 1: Begin by peeling your pumpkin and cutting into cubes.
- Season your pumpkin with a little salt and pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes at about 200 C or until slightly browned around the edges.
- STEP 2: In the mean time cook your brown rice on the stove in 4 cups of water and salt. Bring water to boil on high and turn down the heat to medium and allow to cook uncovered until rice has absorbed all the liquid and is gluggy and sticky in texture. You may need to add a little more water as you go if your rice is not sticky enough. Stir occasionally to avoid rice sticking to base of pot. Once done, set aside.
- STEP 3:For the cream: blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender until smooth and creamy and set aside.
- STEP 4: When your pumpkin, brown rice and cream are done you can fry off your chopped onion in a large pot or pan in a little olive oil until it becomes lightly browned. Add your crushed garlic and cook for a few more seconds until garlic becomes fragrant.
- Add your rice and roasted pumpkin to the pan and mix well until everything is evenly combined. The pumpkin gets a little crushed during this process and makes the risotto start looking orange in colour, but you should still have a few chunky bits of pumpkin in there.
- Season with salt and pepper
- STEP 5: Start pouring in your cream a little at a time and mix well, the rice will absorb the cream. Keep adding until you get it as creamy as you like
- Throw in a handful of chopped parsley and mix again
- Serve with extra parsley and vegan parmesan cheese