Winter Vegetable Risotto

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  • Makes 6 servings

Risotto is often hard to mimic as a vegan dish because it calls for lots of Parmesan and butter to create its creamy taste and consistency. This recipe recreates all of that, using a combination of almond milk, tahini, and a touch of nutritional yeast. The result is a sophisticated risotto, which we pair with carrots, parsnips, and butternut squash. You can use any vegetables on hand, though, including diced asparagus, zucchini, or other squash.

Adapted from Mayim’s Vegan Table. Recipe reprinted courtesy of DaCapo Lifelong Books.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash (about 1 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or thyme
  • 5½ cups vegan vegetable stock
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped onion or shallot
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • ½ cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (see note)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Place the carrot, parsnip, and squash in a large bowl with the rosemary. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until soft but not mushy.
  3. Combine the stock and wine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once simmering, reduce the temperature to medium-low.
  4. Sauté the garlic, onion, and rice in a large nonstick pot for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the rice starts to toast.
  5. Add 1 cup of the simmering broth-wine mixture to the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue adding the broth 1 cup at a time, stirring as it is absorbed, until the rice is tender and creamy, about 20 minutes.
  6. Add the milk, tahini, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and mirin, and cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in the roasted veggies. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Note: Mirin is a sweet rice wine. If you can’t find it, you can use dry sherry or white wine with a pinch of sugar.

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about the author

Mayim Bialik, PhD

Mayim Hoya Bialik is best known for her lead role in the 1990s NBC television sitcom “Blossom” and now appears in the “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS. She plays neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler, a role for which she has received a Critic’s Choice Award, a Screen Actors Guild nomination, and four Emmy nominations.

Mayim has a PhD in Neuroscience from UCLA and a BS in Neuroscience and Hebrew and Jewish Studies from UCLA. She is currently the spokesperson for Texas Instruments, inspiring young women to engage in careers that involve STEM. She is also the author of Beyond the Sling, published by Simon & Schuster, and Mayim’s Vegan Table, a family cookbook by Da Capo Press. Learn more at her website .

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