Flour’s Fabulous Vegan Spring Risotto

Ingredients:

  • Arborio or Carnaroli rice….2 cups
  • Olive oil….3/4 cup
  • Onions….one medium, diced small
  • Garlic…6 cloves, 3 minced, 3 smashed
  • Water or vegetable stock….4-5 cups
  • Fresh morel mushrooms….1/4 pound of fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
  • Asparagus: tough ends snapped off and cut into one inch pieces….one pound
  • English peas, fresh or frozen….3/4 cup
  • Ramps, cleaned….1 cup
  • Lemon zest….1 tbsp
  • Lemon juice…. 2 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper…to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium sauce pan, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Sauté the onions and garlic until soft.
  3. Add the rice with a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant.
  4. Add 4 cups of water or vegetable stock and bring to boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. ( this is different than the usual risotto method but it’s faster and yields the same result! )
  6. Cook for 15 minutes. Checking after ten, and adding more liquid if necessary.
  7. While the risotto cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and fill a large bowl with ice and water.
  8. Add the asparagus and peas to the water and blanch for 3-4 minutes. Immediately transfer them, with a slotted spoon, to the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
  9. Next add the cleaned ramps and blanch for 2-3 minutes. Transfer the ramps to a colander and place under cold water until chilled.
  10. In a sauté pan over med-high heat, heat another tablespoon of olive oil.
  11. Add the mushrooms and quickly sauté them for about two minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small plate to cool.
  12. Check the risotto. If the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, remove it from the heat, keeping the cover on.
  13. In a blender, add the three cloves of smashed garlic, lemon juice, and ramps. (squeeze the ramps in a kitchen towel to remove any excess moisture and chop them roughly to remove any excess moisture.) Turn on the blender and puree.
  14. Slowly add the olive oil until a smooth texture is achieved. Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
  15. Remove the cover to the risotto pot and add the ramp pesto, stirring until fully incorporated.
  16. Next add the mushrooms, blanched vegetables and lemon zest. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.

That’s all there is to it! Easy, fresh and a delicious way to celebrate the arrival of spring. Enjoy!

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