Before going vegan, I used to love making a big bowl of super cheesy tomato risotto. It's one of those meals that is just so comforting. So, of course, I had to make a vegan alternative. I'd always heard that risotto is quite difficult to make but I guess that's only the case if you make it the traditional way, I don't know, but this recipe is really easy. One pot, lots of goodness, an hour of cooking and you get a really yummy and satisfying meal. This recipe doesn't actually contain any of the traditional risotto ingredients of butter, wine or fish/meat, so it's kind of a healthy twist on risotto as you may know it. I love it, though, and I hope you will too.
For this recipe, I use whole grain risotto rice, which I know can be difficult to find sometimes. I buy the Biona Organic one from a local health foods store, but any one will work great. You can order it online quite easily too if you can't find it anywhere near you. You can also substitute the risotto rice for short-grain whole wheat rice instead but the risotto rice gives it a much creamier texture. The Biona rice should be soaked overnight before cooking for best results but not all rice will require this so check the packet instructions, although soaking overnight definitely won't do the grains any harm and will give you a softer consistency so I'd recommend it anyway.
You will need (serves 2-3):
1 cup whole grain risotto rice (soaked overnight)
1 red pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g)
3 tablespoons tomato puree
3 cups vegetable stock (made with one stock cube)
12 cherry tomatoes
1 teaspoon herbs de provence
1 teaspoon basil
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
salt and pepper to taste
- Finely chop the onion and cut the carrot and pepper into fairly small chunks.
- Fry the onion, pepper and carrot in a little olive oil over a medium heat in a large pot for 5 minutes, until softened.
- Mince the garlic and add this to the pot. Fry everything for a further minute.
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and add these to the pot along with the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, vegetable stock, risotto rice, herbs and a little salt and pepper.
- Leave the risotto to simmer over a low heat for an hour, adding more water if necessary.
- After an hour, add the nutritional yeast and stir through.