Well, what do we have here?
I’m feeling all seasonal today.
My Abel and Cole box has delivered me squash, onions and mushrooms, and Mr. Veggie’s garden has delivered me sage. Let’s get our Autumn on.
This vegan risotto, like my last vegan risotto, is baked instead of cooked on the stove. This time I’ve gone a little bigger and filled a dutch oven with the stuff. You will be eating this risotto for days.
It’s best made on a weekend, when you have a couple hours to spare. It’s not rushed, it’s not stressful, you just need a little time to potter around your kitchen and put it all together. Read the instructions a couple times before you start and the general method, with it’s often overlapping timings and processes, should all make sense.
This is a forgiving recipe, too. Play around with the amounts. Add whatever you’ve got. Just don’t skimp on the truffle oil – it is so perfect in here, combined with the squash, wine and caramelized onion flavors. I personally use this super concentrated white truffle oil. Whatever dish it’s added to, it refuses to be ignored.
- 2 small or 1 large squash (any variety is fine, I used onion squash)
- 400 - 500g (14-18oz) assorted fresh mushrooms, chopped
- 5 small (or 3 large) white onions
- Pinch of baking soda
- 15-20 fresh sage leaves, sliced (plus another handful of whole leaves for garnish)
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¼ - ½ cup (60-120mls) of white wine (the more the better! it just depends how much you can spare)
- 20g (about ½ cup) of mixed dried wild mushrooms
- 500g (18oz) dry arborio rice
- ¼ cup of nutritional yeast
- 1 Tblsp of white truffle oil (cut this in half if you have the extra strong stuff!)
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Vegetable stock
- Pre-heat the oven to 190C / 375 while you prep your vegetables.
- Slice your squash in half, and remove the seeds. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast uncovered in the oven. It will need about 1 hour.
- Once the squash has gone into the oven, lay out your fresh mushrooms in a large baking or roasting dish. Add a few tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat the mushrooms. Place in the oven alongside the squash, uncovered, and roast for about 30 minutes, until they are browned and the juices are all seeping out.
- Once the squash and mushrooms are in the oven, start caramelizing the onions. Coat the bottom of a dutch oven with olive oil. Pour in the sliced onions and stir until they start to soften. Add your pinch of baking soda and mix through. Cover, and simmer on the lowest possible setting.
- Once the onions have started cooking, place your dried mushrooms into a mug. Cover with boiling water and allow to soak while the onions finish cooking.
- Once the onions have caramelized for 30-45 minutes, and are soft, sticky and starting to brown, add the garlic and sage. Cook for about 5 minutes, until they are fragrant and soft. Now add the wine to the pan and allow to bubble for a few minutes to let some of the alcohol burn off. Finally, add the dried mushrooms and the water they were soaking in.
- Pour in the rice and mix through. Add the nutritional yeast and stir to melt it in.
- Add enough vegetable stock to cover the mixture by a few inches. Bring to the boil, and now place in the oven.
- After 15 minutes, remove, and spend a few minutes stirring. Now use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and the squash and add it into the pan. Stir, allowing the squash to turn creamy and melt in. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and then top up the vegetable stock to the previous levels. Place back in the oven.
- After another 15 minutes, remove from the oven and spend another few minutes stirring. The risotto will be starting to swell and fill the dish a bit more. Top up the vegetable stock to another few inches above the rice and replace.
- Repeat one or two more times (stirring + adding a little vegetables stock) until the risotto is creamy and cooked. Allow the risotto to stay a little soupy- it will quickly lose it's moisture and you don't want it to get too dry. Stir in the truffle oil at the very end and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- If you want to add a sage garnish, quickly fry some sage leaves in olive oil and place on top.