Lemon Asparagus Vegan Risotto
May 28, 2023
This vegan risotto with lemon and asparagus is rich and creamy, and has a fabulous zesty note from the lemon. You won’t miss the cheese.
Vegan Lemon Asparagus Risotto
This vegan risotto with lemon and asparagus is rich and creamy, and has a fabulous zesty note from the lemon. You won't even miss the cheese.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 1 cup finely chopped leek (white part only)
- 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions, plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup diced celery (1 rib)
- 8 cups warm vegetable broth (see Notes)
- 3 cups arborio rice (see Notes)
- 3 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces (1 1/2 bunches)(see Notes)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste (see Notes)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus more to taste (see Notes)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint, plus more to taste (see Notes)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1/2 cup vegan cheese (see Notes)
In a large pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil, and sauté the leeks and garlic with pinch of salt for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the green onions and celery, and sauté for a further 5 minute until just soft.
Reduce the heat to medium, and pour in 2 cups of the vegetable broth. Add the rice and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and stir until well combined. You want the rice to be just covered with liquid. Stir regularly, every minute or so, and as the rice absorbs the broth (every few minutes or so), periodically add about 1 cup of warm vegetable broth so that the rice is just covered and doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
After about 20 minutes (depending on your pot and the heat of your stovetop), the rice should have doubled in size and be almost cooked. Stir in the asparagus. Continue to add vegetable broth as needed until the rice is just cooked through and is still slightly firm to the tooth.
Add the lemon juice, parsley, mint, black pepper, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and stir until well combined. Stir in the vegan cheese a little bit at a time until you get the flavor balance you like. (Read the notes in the blog post.) Add more lemon juice, parsley, mint, salt, and pepper, to taste.
Vegetable Broth: Use light colored broth that is not heavy on tomato and carrot for the best color and flavor. If you're not vegan, substitute with high quality chicken broth.
Arborio Rice: Substitute with quinoa.
Asparagus: Substitute with 3 cups of finely chopped broccoli florets.
Lemon Juice: Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor. Do not use shelf-stable lemon juice.
Parsley: Use flat-leaf parsley for the best results. Do not use dried herbs.
Mint: Do not use dried herbs.
Vegan Cheese: Read the notes in the blog post about vegan cheeses. If you're not vegan, substitute with parmesan cheese.