Brown Rice Gets a Second Chance
After last week’s disaster you might think I would be steering clear of rice for a while, I certainly hadn’t planned on trying a new rice dish again just yet. Then I pulled The World Vegetarian Cookbook off the shelf and started leafing through it. I did try to skip past the risotto that caught my eye, I got as far as starting to write the shopping list for Egg and Potato Dum, but somehow I found myself drawn back to the rice.
A Cheesy Complaint
Before I go any further let me get my one gripe about the recipe out of the way! The last but one ingredient listed is parmesan cheese shavings; if it’s calling itself parmesan (at least in Europe, I don’t know about the rest of the world) it’s not a vegetarian cheese. There are a good few vegetarian alternatives to parmesan, look for names like vegetarian pasta cheese, and even some vegan ones but true parmesan, nope, never.
However, the cheese in the recipe was being used more or less as a garnish so I decided I’d make the dish anyway and top it with some of the hard goats’ cheese I had in the fridge.
Mushroom and Herb Risotto
This could almost be called Five a Day Risotto, it calls for such a selection of veg’; two types of mushroom, leeks, red onion, red pepper, celery, sweetcorn, peas and mixed fresh herbs. Now I admit I skipped the celery, I’ve never liked it cooked or raw, but quite frankly I don’t think I’d have fitted everything in the pan if I had included it.
Making the risotto was simplicity itself; chop the veggies as appropriate and mix together everything except the peas, sweetcorn and herbs with a flavoursome stock, the rice and a good quantity of wine. Obviously I had to have a small glass of wine whilst chopping the veg’, I had to make sure the bottle I had was fit for the purpose. The peas and sweetcorn went in when everything else was almost cooked and the chopped herbs, I used a mix of homegrown rosemary and parsley with some bought oregano and thyme, being added just before serving.
The recipe book claimed the risotto should serve four and, unusually, I would agree, often I find cookery books under-estimate portion size. The first portion was eaten with shavings of goats’ cheese melting through it and was absolutely delicious. The second portion I reheated and topped with walnuts, as a vegan option this was good but it wasn’t quite as good as with the cheese. The final two portions are in the freezer and I think will be used to stuff red peppers.
So, how would I grade this dish?
4.5 out of 5 for ease of cooking, preparation does take a while.
5 out of 5 for tastiness!