Friday, May 27, 2011

Greens Week, Part III

And now for something a little different...greens don’t have to be a side dish, as I talked about in the last post. But, they don’t have to be the only thing on the plate either. Greens are also an excellent complement to a variety of flavors. This was a dish I loved before I became vegan, a simple tomato, sausage, and spinach risotto. Obviously a little adjustment was needed, but the best part about this recipe is how the rice absorbs the juice from the tomatoes, and the massive amount of spinach wilts throughout the risotto. Adapting dishes from omnivore to vegan means paying careful attention to the purpose of each ingredient. In this case, omitting the sausage leaves a textural and flavor opening. My readers know that I am not a big fan of faux “meat,” so I knew I would have to think outside the box. There’s a meaty quality to walnuts, and lightly toasting them adds a smoky richness. Great plant based food is all about creativity and flexibility!

Tomato, Spinach, and Walnut Risotto

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup white wine
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 small can vegetable broth
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
6 cups spinach

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the rice, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, coating the rice completely with oil. Add the white wine, and simmer until the wine is almost completely absorbed.

Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes reserving the juice. Combine the juice and the broth in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Gradually add half-cupfuls of the tomato broth mixture, allowing it to be almost completely absorbed until the rice is almost tender, about 25 minutes. Add the walnuts and tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Finally, add the spinach, and stir until wilted and completely combined. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of using walnuts in risotto! I'd love to try this recipe.