Vegan lemon risotto is an easy recipe that you can make without white wine. This risotto has some vegan parmesan cheese, making it taste like the regular one. I have included tips on how to make also a more healthy whole foods plant-based version.
Air-fried or oven-fried tofu and asparagus give some texture to this risotto, so it does not just have that porridgy texture.
Asparagus is a high fiber veggie with 3,5 grams of fiber in 100 grams of cooked ones. This risotto is rich and creamy, also gluten-free. Lovely spring food, since asparagus goes so well with this dish. You can, of course, add other spring veggies to the risotto.
Many recipes add the asparagus in the risotto as small pieces, and you can do that too, but I like some crunch in it and to have it separate cooked in the oven or air fryer.
This risotto has such lovely spring colors with yellow and green. My secret is to add just a pinch of turmeric to get it more yellow.
- Arborio risotto rice
- Onion, you can use yellow onion, red onion, or shallots.
- Garlic can be replaced with garlic powder
- Oil or margarine (optional)
- Dry white wine or white wine vinegar
- Organic lemon
- Vegetable stock powder
- Vegan parmesan cheese
- Black pepper
- Green asparagus
- Firm tofu ( I used smoked tofu)
White wine adds flavor and acidity to the risotto. If you drink wine together with the risotto, you can use dry white wines such as sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, pinot grigio, or even riesling. The amount of white wine is relatively little, about half a cup. If you don't bother opening a bottle, I think white wine vinegar works well to give the slight acidity the dish needs. If you don't have vinegar, even lemon juice can work by itself; add a tablespoon.
How to replace vegan parmesan cheese
To make this risotto whole foods plant-based, meaning with no oil, you can replace the parmesan cheese with cashew nuts. Use a blender to make the paste with half a cup of water and add one tbs of nutritional yeast. Soak 100 grams of cashew nuts.
Add this cashew cream when the risotto is almost done. This does not give the cheese taste to the dish but makes a healthier and more fiber-rich version.
If you don't want to eat that much salt, use regular firm tofu since many brands of smoked tofu have a lot of added salt.
What rice to choose
To make risotto with the right consistency, it is vital to choose risotto rice. Risotto rice is, for example, arborio, carnaoli, or vianelo. Arborio rice is usually the easiest to find. The specialty of risotto rice is that the rice absorbs a lot of liquid but still maintains its round form.
If you can not find risotto rice, you can make it with porridge rice, but if overcooked, it lacks the right consistency of the rice. Also, you might need to adjust the liquid amount.
- Peel and chop your onion. Peel and mince the garlic. Add in the garlic—Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes. Saute it with olive oil or in some water.
- Add in your rice and fry it, so the edges turn translucent for about 2 minutes while stirring at the same time. Add in your wine or vinegar, half a cup of water, and the veggie stock powder. Add water a half cup at a time and let the water absorb the rice.
- When you have added about 3 cups, grate the lemon zest and add it to the risotto. Add also pepper, turmeric, and thyme.
- You will need to add about 4 cups of water, but the amount depends on the cooking temperature and the absorption capacity of the rice. It takes about 20 minutes to cook the rice on medium heat.
- Taste the risotto; the consistency should be quite loose. Rice needs to be tender but still have some chew.
- As the last, add in grated vegan parmesan, mix, and add salt to flavor if needed.
- Serve with the asparagus and tofu, and decorate with fresh herbs like thyme and parmesan cheese bites. You can also add some more fresh grated lemon zest on top.
Instruction for asparagus and tofu
- Put on your oven at 400 F when you start to make your risotto. When you are about 10 minutes into the risotto making you can start preparing your asparagus and tofu.
- Chop the tofu into the same sized medium/small chunks. Rinse the asparagus and snap the root part of the stems. Asparagus does not need to be peeled unless you have older stems that are very thick.
- Put them on parchment paper. If you want, add some olive oil on top. Cook them in the oven for 10 minutes.
Tip: You can also make your asparagus and tofu in the air fryer. Fry for 5-7 minutes at 375-400F.
- Mushroom risotto. Most mushrooms are best added at the same time as the onion. Fresh truffle is best added on top as paper-thin flakes when the risotto is ready. s. Fresh truffle is best added on top as paper-thin flakes when the risotto is ready. Crispy mushrooms can also be used as a topping when roasted in the oven with seasoning.
- Milanese version. In this version, saffron is used in the risotto to give flavor and color. You can also add just a tiny pinch of nutmeg.
- Green risotto. Chopped green kale, spinach, or herbs go well with the risotto and make a more green version.
- With chickpeas. Instead f tofu, you can roast some boiled chickpeas in the oven to top your risotto.
What to serve with
This recipe is perfect as the main dish as it is. Instead of asparagus, you can serve some grilled zucchini or aubergine. Green beans are also an option.
I like to serve also a nice green side salad as an appetizer. If you want to lose weight, remember to fill half plate with greens like salad, steamed broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, or other roasted/steamed veggies.
If you want even more crunch to your risotto and different textures, some roasted nuts are an exaddition,t addition, like almonds, cashews, or pine nuts. These are t ugh not originally Italian, but you might like to experiment with flavors.
Leftover risotto can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can reheat it in a microwave or on stovetop. Risotto becomes harder when in the refrigerator, so you need to add some liquid to it when reheating to get that smooth consistency.
Another recipe you might like
- Roasted Italian veggies
- Easy vegan tofu masala
- Vegan lasagna with textured soy granules
- Plant-based butternut squash soup with white beans