BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Semi-Official

39 Comments

So maybe I jumped the gun a little bit. Who could blame me for being excited about shaking off the winter blahs and getting on with the year?  After a long week of pounding rain, the snow has melted and temperatures are rising ever so slightly, adding fuel to my accelerated sense of time.  Despite common sense and the calender’s conclusive decree, spring is the only season I can think of catering to now, and oh, the plans I have!  Asparagus, ramps, fiddleheads, morels, all have a place on my menu, and eventually in my stomach, but for now remain a dream.  It’s still winter as far as my selection of produce is concerned, yielding slim pickings at best, but at least there is hope on the horizon- Little green sprouts are popping up in planters, and the first of the crocuses are lifting their sleepy heads from their multi-month naps.  Besides, daylight savings has brought sunshine back to the dinner table, relenting at last with that early, oppressive darkness.  That’s got to be at least a semi-official sign of spring, right?

I’m sure the last frost is yet to come, and perhaps another cold snap or two just to keep us on our toes, but I’m ready to throw off the sweaters and turn off that pot of stew, slip into something a bit more fresh. Let’s not get crazy here, this isn’t the time for chilled bean salads or anything of the sort, but more of a compromise, bridging the gap between these two competing seasons. By easing some new spring greenery into a more hearty dish, everyone wins.

An adaptation on the butternut risotto from Jae Steele’s Get it Ripe, which I loved so much, my new incarnation drops the heavy orange squash in favor of the rich flesh of an avocado, plus some pureed white beans to lighten things up. Asparagus, one of my favorite veggies of all time, makes a cameo appearance but doesn’t steal the show, the crisp yet tender stalks contrasting nicely to the creamy rice base, redolent in savory, almost cheesy flavor. Unnervingly green as it may be, thanks to that avocado, I think the color is just a cheerful reminder of the greenery to come.

Green Risotto Primavera

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, Chopped
1 1/2 Cups Arborio Rice
4 Cups Vegetable Stock
1/4 Cup Unsweetened Soymilk
6 Cloves Roasted Garlic
1 Cup Canellini Beans
1 Ripe, Medium-Sized Avocado
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
1 – 2 Cups Chopped Asparagus, Fresh or Frozen
1 – 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Chives
1 – 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Parsley
1 Teaspoon Fresh Chopped Thyme
Salt and Pepper, To Taste

Set a medium saucepan over a moderate flame, and coat the bottom of the pan with the oil. Once hot, add in the chopped onion, and saute for about 5 minutes, until softened and fragrant. Add the rice into the pan, and cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, until the grains appear somewhat translucent.

Combine the vegetable stock and soymilk together, and heat for a minute or two in the microwave to take the chill off, if they were previously refrigerated. Pour about 1/3 of it into the pan, just so that the rice is covered, and reduce the heat slightly so that it remains at a low simmer. Continue stirring every few minutes to make sure that nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Once the rice absorbs that liquid and begins to look dry, add in another splash of the stock mixture, while stirring gently. Continue this pattern until about 2/3 of the stock is used. At that point, pour the remainder in, cover, and let simmer on the lowest heat setting for about 15 – 25 minutes, until the rice is done.

Meanwhile, toss your roasted garlic, beans, avocado, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast into a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Once the rice is cooked through, gently fold in the bean and avocado puree, stirring just until evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Add in the chopped asparagus, turn off the heat, and cover for about 5 minutes, to steam the veggies and let the risotto finish cooking. Finish by stirring in the fresh herbs, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 4 – 6 Servings

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

39 thoughts on “Semi-Official

  1. Oh yeah ! Nice risotto and very appaetesing ♥
    It’s not for the daring kitchen ?
    you have just 1 day late, it’s not very serious.

    Great job miss and nice recipes :p

  2. Bless you for eloquently expressing both in writing and in cooking the seasonal limbo in which we currently find ourselves. I’m very very very happy to say that, after a quick scan of the ingredients, I can make this recipe sometime this week, provided I get my hands on fresh herbs instead of the dried ones I have. Have a great week, and let’s welcome one or two cold snaps, just for fun, before spring arrives with all its fun smells ;)

  3. It’s not Spring yet, but almost ! I’m waiting for Spring’s vegetables as well. I do love risotto and I’m sure your version is delicious !

  4. I remember you saying something about the time spent to make the risotto, was it worth it? ;)

  5. I’m loving your green incarnation of this dish! And of course the avocado would just put it over the top. ;)

  6. Mmmmmm…looks great! Everything you’ve put into this dish is a favorite of mine so I’ve got to try this. And, as usual, your photo really whets the appetite! Nice.

  7. The perfect dish for spring – I love it!! And how convenient that I happen to have a box of arborio rice sitting in my pantry just waiting to be used…

  8. I love the idea of folding in that bean-avocado purée. I’m waiting for the first bunch of pencil-thin asparagus I see, then I want to try this!

  9. Beautiful. A lovely twist on a great recipe…and bring on Spring!

  10. I want spring to come so badly! We had some nice sun and warm temps… but this morning I awoke to 30’s brrr!

  11. Wow this is beautiful! I love all of the green substitutions in here. Maybe this is like a rain dance and will help to reel in the spring. We can only hope.

  12. That would be perfect for an Easter lunch or dinner, too!

  13. Ooh, that sounds SO nice!

  14. I completely know how you feel – I saw a little purple flower blooming today in Paris and I pretty much whooped. Spring! I need to soak it up as in a few weeks’ time (hopefully not sooner, let’s pray to the toe gods for me!) I’ll be back into ANOTHER winter.

    On the “I’m amazed” side – avocado in risotto sounds amazing. I don’t like avocado on its own but I can imagine its creaminess working wonders here. Bookmarked!

  15. I usually replace cheese with nut powder + soy cream. And as I often do risottos, your alternative is very welcome! Thanks
    PS: I haven’t found the cheddar cream yet in stores. I guess I will have to make it myself to test your so surprising ice-cream (which still makes me dream of).

  16. That is Comfort food right there! Looks great.
    xo
    Eco Mama

  17. primavera anything makes me so happy! i’m eagerly awaiting spring veggies

  18. That sounds fabulous Hannah. I bet it’s super creamy with the addition of canellini beans and avocado. I’ve been looking for a good risotto recipe to make for a special occasion coming up. I think this is it!

  19. Gorgeous risotto Hannah and I am SO with you on the need for spring! Our daylight saving starts a little later then yours but I can’t wait for evenings to be longer again. If only the temperatures would rise a little…

  20. I love love love risotto! This looks fantastic, definitely a good way to feel slightly better about eating a big bowl of creamy pasta lol!

  21. What a beautiful risotto! I love the roasted garlic in it. Oh spring, it’s almost here!

  22. The rissoto tells of spring.

    And I love your writing style more and more by the day :)

  23. Hannah, what a nice risotto…looks fabulous and sure great for springtime :-)

  24. so many of my favorite things all in one! risotto, avocado, and asparagus? AND roasted garlic? i can’t wait to make this.

  25. mmm yum! Although im a little hesitiant about warmed avocado, the rest of the ingredients sound delicious!

    Rose

  26. I love all the fresh Spring ingredients!

  27. awesome colours awesome to indulge !

  28. Oh, that sounds so good. And it’s never too early to celebrate spring.

  29. wow, loving the idea of adding avocado to this! :)

  30. I love avocado as a replacement in just about anything!

  31. I love butternut in risotto and your writing is so inspiring. I am ready to say farewell to winter blahs too and just welcome the warmth of spring!

  32. Thanks for the fantastic recipe. I will serve this risotto to my omni family soon, and let them wonder if I brought dairy in the kitchen for their sakes! Love your gorgeous photography.

  33. The risotto came out just right, it appears. Looks so creamy and delicious.

  34. Mmm asparagus, avocado and roasted garlic – all of my favourite things!! Lovely creation.

  35. This looks yum! I will have to bookmark the recipe… I want to wait around a bit till I can get some of the first (locally grown) asparagus of the year! Shouldn’t be too far off – no more frost here in Britain.

  36. Lovely color and, I’m sure, flavor! I got excited when spring peeked its bright pretty face out last weekend. But of course it was immediately overtaken by chilly rainy doldrums again. I’m saving up my anticipation though, for the produce and everything else lovely about the season.

  37. Made this Risotto today for lunch and it was great!! I will be making this again very soon. Thanks! :)

  38. I made this yesterday and replaced the asparagus with broccoli and kale because I couldn’t wait until later! Anyway it was delicious and the whole family went back for seconds, luckily it was a double batch. :) Have to try it again in the real spring!

  39. This was a big hit at dinner last night! Really loved the richness the bean-avocado puree added. I’d love to top the leftovers with more cubed avocado to really take it over the top in terms of creaminess.

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