In fact, this is such a good recipe that I’ve made it at least several times last fall and winter, each time to rave reviews. I never posted it on the site though, because it does take a long time to make, and each time I made it for dinner, it was completely dark already. (I try to only take recipe photos during the day, with natural light). It took some planning with my schedule but here it is, at last!
This vegan wild rice risotto primavera will convert anyone who is not a huge risotto lover. Speaking for myself, I don’t order risotto when I go to restaurants, preferring pasta, polenta, or even vegan pizza. Traditional risotto made with Arborio rice often feels starchy and sticky in the not-right way. But this wild rice risotto I self-developed is so comforting, creamy yet al dente (so toothy!), and full of flavor. The secret to this unique flavor is oddly enough summer squash–this is probably one recipe that I refuse to sub out yellow summer squash, because as it cooks in slow, simmering heat, it imparts a mellow, savory sweet flavor that just doesn’t come out in any other cooking method. I also love how “primavera” this recipe is, with red, orange, yellow, green, and brown veggies all taking their turn going inside the saute pan. In short, it’s a must-try!
Vegan Wild Rice Risotto Primavera
- 1 1/4 cup wild rice, rinsed and drained
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 small carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small yellow summer squash, chopped
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 cup broccoli, chopped
- about 5 white button mushrooms, sliced
- 4-5 large shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- to taste sea salt
- to taste fresh black pepper
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan with lid over medium heat. When olive oil is fragrant, add onions and carrots and stir. Put lid back on and cook for about 5 minutes.
2. Add garlic and summer squash and stir to combine. Cook with the lid covered for another 3 minutes or so.
3. Add wild rice and stir to coat everything with olive oil. Salt generously and cook for about 3-4 minutes until wild rice is toasted and almost but not quite sticking to the pan. Add 1 cup water and broccoli, and put lid back on. Bring to boil.
4. After 5-7 minutes, open the lid–water should have nearly evaporated. Add tomato, thyme, mushrooms, and stir. Put lid back on, bring heat down to medium-low, and cook for another 10-15 minutes until water is all evaporated.
5. Add another 1/2 cup of water and cook, covered, for another 10-15 minutes, until all evaporated.
6. Add nutritional yeast. Repeat the process of adding liquid and evaporating, this time with almond milk, about 1/2 cup each time. This will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes of total cooking time. Please be patient and not stop at about 1 hour in–you’ll be tempted to because the wild rice will look *almost* done, but that final 15 minutes really make a huge difference in flavor and texture. Trust me!! Also, make sure liquid evaporates completely before you add another 1/2 cup in each time. A little bit of sticking and browning of the pan give a lot of flavor boost (it all comes off when you add more liquid).
7. When finished, wild rice will be bursting slightly but still al dente. Garnish with some fresh chopped herbs if desired. Bon appetit!!
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling