Vegan risotto is not something you typically get excited about but while trolling through the multiple communities on Google Plus that I belong to I found a conversation regarding risotto and another regarding butternut squash. I thought to myself that would be a great combination as the soft creamy texture of the butternut squash would go perfectly against the al dente texture of the risotto. Along the way I saw crimini mushrooms in my refrigerator and the light bulb went off. Why not add some crispy crimini mushrooms to add a third texture and flavor profile to this dish.
As you may know risotto is typically made with chicken stock but seeing as I don’t eat meat I chose to make a vegan risotto with just water. Plain old water and nothing else. I could have used vegetable stock but what I notice when I use stock is that the risotto turns a lighter shade of brown and I wanted the rice to stay as white as possible. Of course when you add crimini mushrooms to your vegan risotto they have a tendency to lend some color to the rice but all in all you can see the mushrooms and the orange hue of the butternut squash. One thing I know about food is that we eat with our eyes first and so making food more appealing via sight is just as important as making it taste great.
With that idea in mind I am reaching out to you, the readers of my blog, for some help. I am trying to get a cookbook published and one way to do that is to generate a lot of conversation via the social media platforms that I am involved in as well as on this blog. One of the ideas I have been thinking about and working on is food photography. If the food looks great in pictures then people will be more apt to +1, like, share and re-tweet them. So, do any of you have any classes that you have taken that have helped you with food photography? What kind of camera do you use? I joined a group called Food Photography on G+ and am hoping to learn more about the art there. I am also a big fan of Cait from Caits Plate as her pictures on Instagram and her blog are always top-notch. Look at how simple this dish is and yet how great it looks in her picture:
Vegan Risotto With Butternut Squash And Crimini Mushrooms
By July 18, 2013Published:
- Yield: 1 Bowl (1 Servings)
- Prep: 10 mins
- Cook: 1 hr 10 mins
- Ready In: 1 hr 20 mins
A simple vegan risotto that combines earthy flavors of butternut squash and mushrooms.
- 1/2 Cup Arborrio Rice
- 1 1/2 Cup Water
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 35 Grams Onion Diced
- 100 Grams Butternut Squash Sliced
- 50 Grams Crimini Mushrooms Chopped
- 1 Tsp Coconut Oil
- Pre-heat oven to 405*.
- Add sliced butternut squash to baking pan and place in oven to cook for 35 minutes or until tender.
- While butternut squash is cooking melt coconut oil on medium low heat in a heavy bottom pan.
- Once coconut oil is melted add in onions and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and aroma fills the kitchen. Be careful not to brown the garlic.
- After aroma has filled the kitchen add in the mushrooms and cook until the turn a golden brown.
Sprinkle in salt to help extract the moisture from the onions and mushrooms and allow them to crisp a bit.
- Once mushrooms are golden brown add in arborrio rice and toast the grains for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the water and turn up the heat to high. Bring the water to a boil while stirring. Once at a boil reduce heat to low and keep stirring.
- The arborrio will absorb the rice and after 20-25 minutes should be tender. If it is not add 1/4c of water at a time until rice is tender but al dente.
- Remove butternut squash from oven and chop into chunks and fold into the arborrio rice. Allow the flavors to combine for a few minutes and then remove from the heat and plate.
Sprinkle a litte fresh ground pepper and serve.
- Optional: sprinkle a little italian seasonings and good quality olive oil.
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