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To me risotto is the ideal meal, it is easy to make and you can alter it to suit anyone’s taste. But not only can you add whatever you want to it, you can also take it as far as replacing the white risotto rice with brown rice. By doing so you turn the dish into something far healthier and you can even skip the process of seemingly endless stirring. Mind you, I actually love the part of the stirring since I find it very calming and a nice way to unwind after a long and stressful day. But when I can eat something even healthier while eliminating the 20minutes of stirring then who am I to complain…
Brown risotto is in fact not a real risotto since it is not prepared in the same way that a white rice risotto is prepared in. I do call it that however because the end result is strikingly similar.
Ingredients : metric (imperial)
200g (1 cups) brown rice
500 ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
1/2 tbsp vegan butter, or coconut oil for the rice
1/2 tsp salt, for the rice
1 small onion
1 tbsp vegan butter or oil for the frying
2 cloves garlic
100g (1 cup) chestnut mushrooms, sliced
50g (2 cup) spinach
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch of salt
To cook the rice I use the method of cooking it in the oven for this recipe. It is fairly simple and straightforward. Preheat oven to 200C / 400F. Place the brown rice in a overproof dish, pour in the stock and add the vegan butter or coconut oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Cover with lid and place in the preheated oven for about 45-60minutes until all liquid is absorbed. It will leave you with a very fluffy rice.
While the rice is cooking you can prepare the other ingredients. Brush and slice the mushrooms. Peel and finely dice the garlic and the onion. Wash the spinach and set it aside, there is no need to chop it as it will wilt down. Once the rice is done, take it out of the oven and fluff it up with a fork and set it aside.
Over medium heat fry the onions in a tablespoon of oil until tender, add the garlic and fry for another minute. Season with 1/2 tsp pepper, thyme, a pinch of salt and add the spinach. Give it a good stir. Add the stock and the rice and simmer over medium heat for a couple of minutes until the water has evaporated. Mix in the parsley and serve straight away.
You can add vegan parmesan to this brown rice risotto, scatter some toasted sesame seeds over it or serve it as is. Usually I serve it as it is because I love the pure flavour of mushrooms.