HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Vegan MoFo Day 31 – Mushroom & Spinach Risotto

Happy Halloween! I know I’m getting this in under the wire (it’s already after midnight here in France…but it’s still the 31st in North America, right? Right!). I really wanted to get one more MoFo post in before the end…

It’s been such a crazy trip! This is my 24th post this month, about twice what I usually do. I admit that it’ll be much easier to keep up with my favourite vegan food blogs now that it’s over and my Blogger reader will no longer be screaming triple digits at me, but how fun has this been? Spreading the Vegan gospel all over the blogosphere…Amen!

For my last MoFo post, I’d like to share one of our preferred recipes here at the Fish household. It’s not a quickie by any means (recipe you freaks), but it’s delicious and healthy :

Mushroom & Spinach Risotto

This is from a recipe I veganized from one of my monster-in-law’s Femme Actuelle magazines. The original called for beef stock, and rather than spinach you were to add sautéed duck. Yuck. If you’ve ever made risotto before, you know it falls into the “good things come to those who wait” category. This is just bursting with flavour and makes for a lovely main dish with a crispy salad to start, or a satisfying accompaniment. Just be warned, you’ll be standing in front of your stove stirring for a nearly half an hourish…

  • 2 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • a bit more than a pound (300g) fresh spinach, washed & destemmed
  • olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 generous cups red wine
  • 5 cups veggie stock (or water with a veggie bouillon cube if your me)
  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice

Pour one cup of the red wine in a lovely glass. Take a sip. Continue sipping throughout the preparation of this recipe. Now reserve the other cup for the risotto.

Sautée your mushrooms in a frying pan until they begin to shrivel up a bit (I don’t use oil here, as they’ll be swimming in their own juices soon enough. Just keep an eye one them.). Add a little salt and pepper, and once they are cooked through add your spinach. Stir from time to time to be sure that it all wilts a little, but not too much. Once it is a bright green color turn off the heat and set aside.

Have your veggie stock or bouillon water handy and warm. You’ll need it in a minute. Heat a little olive oil and sautée the onion until it’s translucent. Now add your garlic and maybe a little pepper or some herbs. I toss in some crumbled herbs de province. Add the red wine and let it reduce for a minute or so (you might have to turn the heat up here). Now add your rice. Here comes the labour-intensive part : get ready to stir! Keep stirring the rice until most of the wine is soaked up, and now just keep adding the veggie stock, about 3/4 cup at a time or so, continually stirring. Add more stock as the rice soaks it up. You’ll probably be waiting about 5 to 10 minutes before each addition, depending on how hot your burner is (turn it up if it’s not soaking fast enough). This can be boring, but it’s so delicious you’ll be glad you spent the time on it. Don’t get all worried if at the end it seems rather creamy – risotto is creamy! Once you’ve added all your liquid, turn off the heat and give it one last stir, then let it sit for about 5 or 10 minutes. And voila!

Bon appétit! I think I’m going to spend the next few days trying to catch up a little on my blog reading!