Have you been dreaming of enjoying a warm and hearty vegan risotto with asparagus, peas, and other fresh flavors? This classic Italian dish is surprisingly easy to make - just follow the few simple steps. Serve it up in smaller portions for starters or side dishes if desired, but don't let that stop you from making this your main course at lunch or dinner!
What's even better than having tasty food any day on the table? Having freshly-harvested seasonal ingredients like local springtime asparagus adding extra oomph to every mouthful. But there’s more: I'm sharing insider tips so much more than just another recipe here – dig right into all these delicious details today!
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A list of the ingredients you will need to make this creamy risotto.
You can find the ingredients with quantities and the recipe to print out on the recipe card below.
- Vegetable Broth
- Green Asparagus
- Yellow Onion
- Celery Root
- Garlic Cloves
- Vegan Parmesan
- Lemon Juice
- White Wine Vinegar
- Lemon Zest
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- Fresh herbs like Fresh Parsley
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
Put the broth in a small pot and bring it to a boil.
Now prepare the asparagus spears. To do this, cut off the woody ends. And cut the asparagus into 1 “ inch (2-2.5 cm) pieces.
Put the asparagus with the frozen peas in the broth and let them simmer for about 3 minutes. You can lower the heat a bit.
Take a slotted spoon and skim the asparagus and peas. Now set the heat of the broth to the lowest level, so it stays warm. We still need the broth.
Dice the onion and the celery and let them sauté in a large non-stick pan on medium-high heat for the risotto.
Add a sip of water now and then. You do this until the onions turn slightly brown. Add the chopped garlic and also briefly saute it.
Now add the rice and let the rice fry for about 5 minutes.
The rice should start to become translucent around the edges and easily get color.
Now add approx. 1 cup (250 ml) of the warm broth to the rice mixture. Let it cook on medium heat until the broth is absorbed. Now add another 2 cups and let it simmer. Try your rice after about 40 minutes.
Is it soft or does it have to cook a little longer? The rice should be al dente but creamy at the same time. Brown rice varieties take longer.
I have prepared the recipe with a brown variety, so it can vary by rice type.
When the rice is al dente and creamy, add a ladle of broth. Now add the asparagus, peas. And let the broth absorb.
Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the white wine vinegar, parmesan, tahini cream. Also add the lemon juice and the zest. Season it with salt and pepper.
Serve the risotto in small bowls and sprinkle some Parmesan over it.
- Celeriac: If you can't find any celeriac or known as celery root, you can replace it with 1-2 sticks of finely diced celery. I have to say, I always try to freeze some of the celeriac to get extra flavor in a dish.
- Risotto Rice: The selection of different types of rice is huge. But not every rice is equally suitable to make a creamy vegan risotto. A risotto should be creamy, but the short-grain rice grains should still be al dente. When choosing rice, it is important that you use rice that has two properties: absorbent and high starch content. What types of rice are now available?
- Arborio Rice: You can use the most famous rice, thanks to its properties it is creamy and yet al dente.
- Carnaroli: This rice gives a scent of fresh bread when cooked. And who doesn't love the smell of fresh bread.
- Baldo: It remains firm to the bite, but has excellent absorbency.
- Parmesan: If you don't want to prepare vegan Parmesan, you can also use nutritional yeast. This is how you get the cheesy flavor in your risotto. But I have to say that your risotto will not be as creamy as with the Parmesan. The cashews help make the risotto ultra creamy.
- Asparagus: I love using fresh asparagus in asparagus season. I use frozen asparagus when it is not in season.
- Lemon Asparagus Risotto: Add some fresh lemon zest and lemon juice to your risotto.
- Roasted Asparagus: You can also roast the asparagus in the oven instead of blanching it in the vegetable broth.
- White Wine: Deglaze the onions with some dry white wine to add some extra flavor depth.
- Cashew Cream: You want this rich risotto even creamier, add some cashew cream to add the end.
- Miso Paste: I love the flavor of miso paste, add a tablespoon to your cooked creamy risotto.
- Fridge: You can store your leftover risotto in the fridge. Simply refrigerate your rice in an airtight container for about 3-4 days.
- How do I reheat the risotto? Warm your risotto over medium heat with a little water or broth. Always stir. Or put the risotto in the microwave and let it warm for about 2-3 minutes.
- Freezer: If you have too much left and don't want to eat risotto for a week, you can freeze it easily. It is important that the risotto is frozen quickly. I put the risotto in portions in freezer-safe containers and let them cool completely. As soon as they have cooled down, I put them in the freezer. Your risotto will stay there for about 3 months.
- How do I thaw frozen risotto? There are two ways to defrost your frozen asparagus and pea risotto. The first option is to defrost the risotto slowly and gently. To do this, put the risotto in the fridge overnight. Before serving, simply reheat the risotto in a saucepan or in the microwave, as mentioned above. You can also omit the thawing step and put the frozen risotto directly in the microwave or saucepan and then reheat. First, use the defrost function of the microwave before you warm up the risotto. In the pot, you can reheat the risotto at a low setting so that it doesn't burn.
A risotto is basically a complete dish. You don't actually have to serve anything with it. And thanks to the rice, it is filling for a long time.
You can serve a side salad with it, which is what we like to do. Like a Caesar Salad.
You could also serve cauliflower steaks.
This traditional risotto recipe is a great meal prep recipe. Make it on a weekend and enjoy it during the week as a easy weeknight dinner.
- As mentioned above, choosing the right rice is the key to a perfect risotto. If you select one of the varieties mentioned above, nothing should stand in the way of a good risotto. I always look to see if I can find a whole grain version of the varieties given above.
- Give the rice time to take up the broth, so I always add a ladle or cup at a time. It takes a while until the risotto is ready.
- Let the rice simmer on low or medium heat.
- If you like to cook with wine, you can leave out the white wine vinegar. And with about ¼ cup (60 ml) of white wine, deglaze the rice after searing. Wait until the wine is overcooked before adding the vegetable stock.
- If the rice is still not creamy and al dente and the broth in the pot is used up. Then add a little more hot vegetable stock or water. It may be that you cooked the rice too quickly, or depending on the type, e.g. whole grain rice may take longer.
- Vary with the vegetables and take what is currently in season.
Have you ever been to a restaurant and discovered a delicious risotto on the menu, but you are not sure if the risotto is vegan? If we take a closer look at the Italian dish, we can see that:
Beef or Bone broth is used in risotto, you would have to ask in the restaurant if they could use vegetable broth.
Then Parmesan is added to the rice dish. Depending on the restaurant, this will probably not be an alternative, unless you are in a restaurant with a quite a few vegan options.
Butter is also added to the risotto. And we know butter is made from cow's milk. Butter can be easily replaced with vegan margarine, or you can simply leave it out.
Conclusion if risotto is vegan, it is no. Most risotto dishes have Parmesan cheese in them. But I have a solution for you. For this, you will find a great risotto recipe here, and I swear you won’t miss the Risotto from the Restaurant.
On the one hand, the choice of rice plays a crucial role in how creamy your risotto becomes. For example, long-grain rice with little starch will not make your risotto as creamy as the Arborio or Baldo rice varieties mentioned above.
We also add some tahini, as we don't use oil or butter. So we still get a creamy note.
The vegan Parmesan, if you make it according to my recipe from nutritional yeast and cashew nuts or hemp seeds, almonds, help the asparagus pea risotto to become creamy.