(Gluten-free, nut-free option, soy-free)
Makes 6 servings
Our dear friend and talented chef Sara Boan of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s Compassionate Cuisine program adapted this risotto from a recipe by Martha Rose Shulman. This luscious dish proves that even classic comfort foods can be made simply and deliciously vegan. Chef Sara roasted the mushrooms in the oven instead of sauteing them to preserve the robust flavor. The Treeline cheese adds additional richness. Following a nut-free diet or can’t find Treeline cheese at your local store? Daiya cream cheese would make a nice substitute.
For the mushrooms:
1 pound cremini (also known as baby bella) mushrooms, thickly sliced
4 ounces oyster mushrooms, pulled apart into individual “petals”
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the risotto:
6 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, leaves only
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
¼ cup Treeline Garlic-Herb French-Style Soft Cheese (optional, but highly recommended)
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Line a baking tray with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
- In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then spread in a single layer on the prepared baking tray. Transfer to the oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, until the mushrooms have shrunken and are starting to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. (This step can be done in advance.)
- Heat the vegetable broth in a medium-large saucepan, and add the salt and a few grinds of pepper. Taste the broth; it should taste a bit salty, but don’t worry. This extra saltiness is necessary to properly flavor the rice. If the broth you used was low-sodium, add a pinch more salt. Keep the broth hot over medium-low heat as you continue with the recipe.
- Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots plus a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and rice, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and allow to cook, stirring frequently, until the wine is mostly absorbed into the rice.
- Add a ladle or two of hot stock and cook, stirring frequently, until the stock is almost absorbed by the rice. Adjust the heat as necessary so the risotto bubbles gently, but doesn’t boil vigorously. Add another ladle or two of stock, and repeat this process until you’ve used almost all the stock. This will take approximately 25-30 minutes. When finished, the rice will be tender all the way through but still al dente in the center, surrounded by a creamy sauce. To make the stirring feel less tedious, recruit a loved one to help you out, or put on your favorite music or podcast. (We promise, all the stirring will be worth it!)
- Stir in the roasted mushrooms, remaining stock, and optional Treeline cheese, then cook briefly until heated through and bubbling. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped fresh parsley.