It’s July 1 tomorrow and summer still hasn’t really arrived so it’s time again for an “earthy” hot meal tonight (although this would serve up nicely on a patio as well with a nice glass of pinot grigio). I wanted to do something really quick and easy so that I could enjoy the rest of the evening without too much work or clean-up. This is what I came up with:
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1/2 yellow onion (chopped finely)
olive oil for sautéing
3-4 (or more) cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine
1/4 cup soy milk
3 cups baby spinach
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup Daiya Mozza Shreds
Salt & Pepper to taste
a few cherry tomatoes for garnish
Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain rice named after the town of Arborio Vercellese, in the Po Valley, where it is grown. Like pasta, arborio rice is prepared al dente, which means that it should be slightly firm to the bite - a degree of doneness that might seem underdone in ordinary white rice. Because this rice undergoes less milling than ordinary long-grained rice, arborio retains more of its natural starch content. Cooking releases this starch, giving risotto its creamy consistency. Arborio rice is also used for rice pudding. I feel another post coming on – rice pudding is MY FAVOURITE!!
Measure the peas and set aside to thaw slightly.
Heat about 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan and add finely chopped onion. Stir often until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook an additional 4-5 minutes covered and stirring occasionally until the mushrooms start to lose their moisture. Remove the lid and cook off the liquid until the mushroom and onions start to brown (this might take 10 minutes or so). Add rice and stir to evenly coat, about 1 minute.
In a separate pot, heat the vegetable stock to a simmer.
While constantly stirring rice, pour in the white wine. De-glaze the pan with the white wine (that’s just fancy talk for adding the white wine to the pot and letting it simmer until the lovely caramelized bits have loosened off the side of the pot and combined into your sautéed mix). Scrape up and stir in any brown bits from pan bottom. Stir often until rice absorbs wine – about 1 to 2 minutes.
Gradually pour in 1 cup of vegetable broth. Stir often until liquid is absorbed, add the second cup and repeat this until all the stock has been added to the rice and is fully absorbed. If rice is not tender, continue to stir in stock, 1/4 cup at a time, until the rice is tender. Once all the liquid has been absorbed , and the rice is tender, stir in the Daiya and continue to stir until it has melted. Add peas and stir often until hot – another 2 to 3 minutes, and finally add spinach and continue to stir until it has wilted. Spoon into bowls and polish off the remainder of the wine you opened to de-glaze the pan.