Vegetarian Risotto With Almonds
this goes beyond vegetarian to vegan. I made it for a
dinner party with two vegan friends. I used vegetable broth but
commercial is adequate and a garlic broth is excellent if everybody
likes garlic—not sharp, but mild from long cooking. This risotto
can be stopped about half way through and then finished. It is ideal in
Spring when vegetables are young and tender. I used King oyster
mushrooms as they don’t get mushy with the longish cooking.
Ordinary mushrooms can be substituted; but they should not be added
until the peas are. I had the idea for the slivered almonds (out of a
can) when I was looking for something to add texture and even nutrition.
½ cup olive oil
2/3 pound yellow onion, in ¼” dice (about 1½ cups)
4 ounces king oyster mushrooms, in ¼-inch dice (about
2 cups white wine
1¼ pounds slim zucchini, ends removed and thinly sliced
across (about 4 cups)
6 cups of stock (see above)
4 cups shelled peas
1 pound asparagus before cleaning,
hard ends of stems snapped off, peeled, tips (about ¾ cup)
reserved, stems cut in ½-inch lengths (about 1 cup)
½ cup coarsely chopped dill fronds
2 tablespoons kosher salt or to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 cup slivered almonds
Use a 14-inch skillet or braising pan or a large wok. Heat oil until
shimmering but not smoking. Stir in rice and cook until opaque or even
slightly tan. Add onions and mushrooms if using the oyster mushrooms.
Cook until onions are translucent. Stir in 1 cup of the wine and cook
until absorbed. Stir in zucchini and two cups of stock. Cook until
stock is absorbed. At this point the recipe can wait.
Add 3 cups stock and bring to a boil. Stir and turn until the zucchini
begins to look glossy. Stir in peas and 1 cup stock. Boil until liquid
is absorbed. Add asparagus stems and 1 cup wine. Cook until the liquid
is almost absorbed. Stir in asparagus tips and dill. Add salt and
pepper to taste. Stir in half of the almonds.
Serve topped—the whole or by the portion—with the remaining
Serves 8 to 10