Since I was a kid, I have loved everything involving a mix of rice, vegetables, and sauce. Risotto, nasi goreng and my all time favorite; curry infused rice with cucumber, green apples, leek and sour cream. I wasn’t vegan as a kid, so we always served this curry and rice dish with shrimps, but today I replace the shrimps with champignons or lentils. So, long story short - I love all things creamy rice.
Until about two years ago, I had completely forgotten about risotto. You know how it is, sometimes you just forget that a dish exists and then all of a sudden you stumble upon it and you are completely blown away, because how could you forget about this delicious dish? You know the feeling? This was exactly what happened to me at that time, two years ago. We had just moved into our new apartment and we were curious about the restaurant around the corner (the only restaurant in the neighborhood btw). So we went there and I asked for something glutenfree and vegan and I got this amazing risotto. It completely blew my mind. I had never eaten a risotto that good in my life.
We’ve been back to this restaurant a couple of times since then and I’ve always had the risotto (hey, it’s not that easy to get gluten-free + vegan food at a restaurant). The first time was all about enjoying the food, the other times was more about trying to find out what was in that thing. I needed to make it at home so Kalle and I tried to taste all the things in there and figure out what everything was. There’s still one thing we have no idea what it is, but the rest is pretty clear now. I don’t even know how many times we’ve made it at home the last year, but trust me, it’s quite a few.
If you ask me, there are three essentials when it comes to risotto; white wine, fennel, and champignons. Well, and rice of course. If you have those four ingredients, you’re more or less ready to go. When you cook the rice in wine, it gets this amazing flavor. To me, risotto is not risotto if there’s no wine in it (you can ofc use alcohol-free wine if you want). Also, the fennel adds an interesting texture and a lot of flavors as well and together these two ingredients are what make the risotto so amazingly delicious. Cooked mushrooms, together with lots of lemon juice and some plant cream are what makes this dish complete. You know, like the frosting on a cupcake. Trust me when I say that the lemon juice makes all the difference and brings out the best flavors in the risotto.
You can serve this risotto any day of the week. It’s perfect for a weekday dinner, but also perfect for that fancy (or not) weekend dinner with friends. Just serve it with some white wine and it’s weekend-dinner-worthy.
Risotto with tamari cooked fennel and champignons
4 dl arborio rice
1 1/2 l cold water
2-3 tsp vegetable stock powder
2 dl white wine
200 g champignons
2 tbsps tamari soy
2 dl water, maybe more
2 dl green peas, precooked (or thaw frozen ones)
2 dl plant cream (cooking cream)
1 - 2 tbsp white vinegar
juice of one lemon
Leafy greens of your choice
Add vegetable stock powder and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Add the rice and let cook for about 10 minutes on very low heat.
Remove any excess water and add the white wine. Let the rice cook for another 10 minutes. Add more water if the wine is absorbed too quickly.
Rinse and thinly slice the fennel.
Brush the champignons and chop into small pieces.
Heat up a pan and add about 2 dl water, tamari soy, champignons and the sliced fennel. Let cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until soft and juicy.
Remove any excess fluid from the mushroom mix, then add the rice and green peas to the pan. Stir carefully until everything’s combined.
Add plant cream, vinegar, and lemon juice and stir together.
Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Serve with slices of cucumber, leafy greens of your choice and more lemon.