Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Risotto with 'Fresh Mozzarella', Grape Tomatoes, and Basil

As always, risotto is a labor of love - lots of stirring constantly! - but so worth for the end result.

Begin by heating 2 and 1/4 cups vegetable broth in a medium saucepan until it comes to a simmer; be careful not to boil. Keep warm over low heat.

Meanwhile, heat 1 and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup chopped leek and saute for 3 minutes. Add 3/4 cup uncooked Arborio rice; cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 3 tablespoon dry white wine (I chose an unfiltered Sancerre) and cook for 1 minute.

Now it's time to start adding the broth! Add 1/2 a cup, and cook until absorbed (about 3-5 minutes), stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium, then repeat by adding the broth 1/4 cup at a time, and stirring constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (you'll need about 25-35 minutes total).

Stir in 2 tablespoons vegan cream (such as Wildwood plain soy creamer), along with 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. black pepper; cook for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, and 2 and 1/2 ounces of diced vegan mozzarella - since this recipe called for fresh mozzarella, I definitely recommend the vegan version from Follow Your Heart; it most closely resembles very fresh buffalo mozzarella.

In a small saucepan or skillet, bring 1 and 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium heat. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes until syrupy - don't turn your back on this process! I ruined my first batch by letting it cook closer to 4 minutes.

Divide the risotto evenly into 3 servings of 1 cup each. Drizzle each serving with 1/2 tsp. of the balsamic syrup and 1/2 tsp. olive oil. Each serving is 380 calories.

balsamic vinegar $4.99
vegetable broth $2.69
leek $1.72
Arborio rice $1.76
dry white wine $23.99
grape tomatoes $3.99
basil $2.99
vegan mozzarella $4.39

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html