Vegan Beet Bejeweled Risotto

As a starch-based main dish, risotto is always hard to pair with. Beets make the perfect complement and not just because I love the colour they give. I served it with grilled sweet-chili tofu and a dark green salad.

Beet Bejeweled Risotto (Serves 4-6)

3 tbsp vegan butter or olive oil
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup vodka, room temp
6-8 cups of vegetable broth or water with a few bouillon cubes dissolved
3 medium beets, cooked, peeled and chopped
black and white pepper to taste
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp each sage, thyme, lemon zest
1/4 cup daiya moz cheese

First heat the oil in a large frying pan or saute pan. Add the onions and garlic and cooking in the oil for a few minutes at a medium to low high heat. Add the rice, coating well with oil. Cook for about two minutes, stirring.

Add the vodka and stir until it is almost absorbed, keeping at a very low simmer. Add a 1/2 cup of warm or room temp broth. You will continue to do this—adding broth and stirring until the liquid is not quite gone, add more broth. This will take about 40 minutes. Mix in the herbs and zest.

Once it starts to look puffy and sticky, start testing it to see if the center of the rice is cooked. Once it is near al dente, add the seasonings and chopped beets. Continue to cook until the beets are hot and the colour has distributed nicely. Add more broth if still needed. Finally, add the daiya cheese and stir until completely melted. Serve immediately.

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