The nutty flavor of brown rice finds a perfect match in this Italian dish reinterpreted in a creamy, vegan version.
By Ambra Torelli
What makes risotto so delicious is that creamy, velvety texture that forms when the rice starch meets the butter and melted cheese and together they embrace each grain of rice.
But what if I told you you can have the same consistency without relying on dairies?
This butter made with pine nuts, pistachios and pumpkin is rich, flavorful and packed with healthy fats. The picture speaks for itself. Give it a try now, thank me later!
- For the Rice:
- 1½ cups Brown Rice
- 1 cup diced Pumpkin
- ½ cup Fresh Spinach
- Salt, Black Pepper, Herbs & Sweet Paprika
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ¼ White Onion, chopped
- 1 clove of Garlic
- 6 cups Vegetable Stock
- For the Butter:
- ½ cup braised Pumpkin
- ¼ cup Pine Nuts
- ¼ cup Pistachios
- 1 tbsp of Olive Oil
- dry Oregano & Rosemary
- 1 tbsp Maca Powder
- Make a vegetable stock boiling potatoes, celery, onions, carrots, Brussels sprouts, 1 clove of garlic and your choice of herbs and spices for least 1 and ½ hours.
- Heat up 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic finely chopped and, when they start browning, add the rice and let it toast for a couple of minutes while mixing well.
- Start pouring the broth over the rice with a ladle little by little, until the rice absorbs it. It will take about 40 minutes.
- minutes after you first started pouring the stock over the rice, add in the diced pumpkin. 20 minutes later, add the spinach leaves, finely chopped.
- Cover the rice (checking on it, stirring it and adding more broth every couple minutes) and start preparing the butter to cream your risotto.
- Put all the ingredients for the vegan butter in a high speed blender, add a little bit of broth and blend until perfectly smooth and firm.
- You’ll know when the risotto is almost cooked by tasting it: does it gently melt between your teeth without you biting it? Good sign. When it gets to this consistency and it already absorbed all the broth, stir in the nut butter and cream the risotto for another couple of minutes.
- Spoon your masterpiece it in a plate, decorate it with a tuft of butter, a few pine nuts and serve it to the people you love!
Born and raised in Italy, Ambra is a healthy recipe developer, food and travel writer with a passion for healthy living and wellness. She is the founder of 'Little Bites of Beauty" and the author of the cookbooks "Healthy Italian Desserts Made Simple" and "The AIP Italian Cookbook". She shares her daily food & travel adventures on her Instagram @LittleBitesofBeauty