Risotto Veganese is our vegan version of the braised rice dish from Northern Italy, an adaptation of Risotto Milanese. The distinctive ingredient in both the classic version and ours is a good quality saffron from Spain. Spanish saffron will set you back around $20 an ounce in a specialty food store. It may be a little bit less at an outdoor market in Barcelona but who’s got time to go to Spain when you’re running a nonprofit organization? We hope you love this Risotto Veganese and will make it a tradition in your house as it has become in ours.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 teaspoon saffron threads
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) vegan butter
Heat the vegetable stock in a stock pot, add the saffron, stirring to infuse.
In a 12 to 14-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent but not browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Once the onions are translucent add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until toasted and opaque, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the wine to the toasting rice. Ladle in about 4 to 6 ounces of the saffron-infused stock and cook, stirring, until it is absorbed. Continue adding the stock a ladle at a time, waiting until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy and yet still a little al dente, about 15 minutes. Stir in the vegan butter until well mixed.