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Best Vegan Risotto recipe | Spinach and swiss chard [ENG-ITA]

Updated: May 19

Who doesn't love risotto? This typical italian dish can be made in hundreds of ways, most popular in Italy are the ones with sausages and squash, with mushrooms, cheese, pear and walnuts, even with red wine. Italy is really the home of risotto!


The best part is that risotto is a comfort food and naturally gluten free, which makes it a digestible dish, ideal for those who are intolerant or sensitive to gluten.



Can risotto be vegan?


Yes, sure! Indeed, today we're gonna talk about a vegan risotto, because it's just the way we do things over here :)

I make spinach risotto every week, as it's so delicious and healthy. Plus, being rice glutenfree, it's also ok for those who have allergies or who just want to reduce gluten in their diets.


Normally, combos which I particularly like are spinach + green peas, spinach + zucchini, and spinach + swiss chard which is the recipe of this post. The rules are just the same: you can replace the swiss chard with green peas or zucchini if you prefer, the rest of the recipe doesn't change: one banch of swiss chard can be substituted by two sliced zucchini or 5.5 oz of frozen green peas. If using frozen green peas, remember to add them just 3-4minutes before serving.




What do you need to make risotto


Making a perfect risotto is not so complicated as it seems, and does not take much time, but it is necessary to have some precautions at all stages of the preparation, from the choice of the right ingredients to the right tools.


  • Type of rice: I normally use brown rice, as it is richer in fibers and proteins. Other types of rice typically used in Italy are Vialone Nano, characterized by medium-sized rounded grains, very valuable, because rich in starch so it gives a very creamy risotto. It is ideal for vegetable-based risotto, such as asparagus, artichokes, squash, or radicchio and red wine risotto. Carnaroli is instead a type of superfine rice, widely used and appreciated, because the rice grain maintains a consistency "al dente", and therefore suitable for preparing risotto for many people. It goes perfectly well for fish or meat based risotto. Finally, Arborio is another variety of "superfine" rice like Carnaroli, but does not have the same peculiarities, in fact, Arborio has grains that quickly release a lot of starch during cooking. It stays little "al dente", but the flavors are well absorbed. It goes well for preparing creamy meat based risotto;

  • Choose a wide saucepan, better if it is made of copper because the heat spreads better and the rice is cooked more evenly. Anyway, I use steel saucepan, and they work perfectly fine too. The size of the saucepan is an important factor in obtaining a perfect risotto: if the rice is too heaped, the risk is that the cooking will not be perfectly homogeneous;

  • Vegetable broth: of course we talk about vegetable broth, because it's just the way we do things over here :) anyway, the broth is essential to make risotto, as it will give the main flavor. It's important not to pour all the broth immediately, but one ladle at a time when the rice has absorbed the liquid.


How to make the perfect vegan creamy risotto


Making a good creamy risotto may seem tricky for most, but believe me there are not so many steps to follow, just only few yet important directions. Let's see what they are:


  1. Toast the rice in a broad pan - yes, it's important to toast for few minutes (let's say about 2-3 minutes) the rice on medium heat with a drizzle of oil, in this way the flavor will be more enhanced;

  2. Deglaze with wine or bier - again, flavorrrrr;

  3. Wet with vegetable stock little at a time, everytime the rice absorbes the liquid, just add some more so the rice won't stick to the bottom of the pan;

  4. Stirring, constanly - yes, my friend. For maximum creaminess the rule is just one: stirring constantly. I know it sounds kind of a tiring thing to do, but trust me: if you want your risotto to be creamy and look like the ones cooked in restaurants, the secret is stirring constantly so the rice absorbs the vegetable broth better and the grains swell. The result will be a creamy, buttery and velvety risotto, without any butter or cheese in it!


INGREDIENTS

Serves: 4 persons


  • Half an onion, chopped

  • One carrot, chopped

  • 1 glove of garlic (optional)

  • 30 gr / 2 tbsp extravirgin-olive oil

  • 2 blocks of frozen spinach (140 gr if using fresh spinach)

  • One bunch of swiss chard

  • 300 gr / 1 ⅔ cup brown rice or other types of rice of your choice

  • 60 gr / 4 tbsp dry white wine

  • 700 gr / 3 cups vegetable broth


LET'S DO IT

  1. Finely chop the onion, carrot, and the swiss chard. On a wide sauce pan, sauté them with the frozen spinach, the glove of garlic and the extra-virgin olive oil on medium heat;

  2. After 2-3 minutes, when the onion is soft and golden, turn up the heat then add the rice, pour in the wine and let the alcohol evaporate, stirring;

  3. After other 2-3 minutes when the alcohol as completely evaporated (you can realize this by smelling the pan: you should no longer smell alcohol), pour in a couple of ladles of vegetable broth, stirring so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom;

  4. Cover with a lid and let it cooks at a low heat, stirring quite often for 10 minutes. Every time the rice has absorbed the liquid, pour in another ladle of vegetable broth until the rice is evenly cooked. The cooking time depends on the rice type: some are done in 10 minutes, others (brown rice or semi-brown rice for i.e.) take more time. All you have to do is adding one ladle of broth at a time, and stir, until the rice is cooked;

  5. Serve immediately, with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Enjoy!




How to freeze and store risotto


Risotto doesn't keep well if frozen, it is better to storage it in the fridge for up to 2 days. To reheat it, stir it in a saucepan on medium-heat with a few tablespoons of water to soften it



Should you make this risotto at home, do not forget to tag the Instagram page and use the hashtag #twocabbageskitchen. We'll looooove to see your creations :)

Love & Enjoy.

Cristiana & the Cabbages


VERSIONE IN ITALIANO


Risotto spinaci e coste


Fare il risotto non è così difficile come sembra, basta seguire pochi, ma importanti, accorgimenti per un risotto buono e cremoso senza l'aggiunta di burro o altri latticini.


  1. Tostare il riso per alcuni minuti (diciamo circa 2-3 minuti) a fuoco medio-alto con un filo d'olio, in questo modo il sapore finale sarà più accentuato;

  2. Usare una pentola o casseruola ampia, meglio sei in rame o acciaio con il fondo spesso, in questo modo i chicchi di riso non saranno ammassati e la cottura sarà più omogenea ed uniforme;

  3. Sfumare con vino o birra. Anche qui, il sapore ne beneficerà molto;

  4. Bagnare poco alla volta con il brodo vegetale, ogni volta che il riso assorbe il liquido. Basterà un mestolo alla volta in modo che il riso non si attacchi al fondo della casseruola;

  5. Mescolare, con costanza - eh sì. Per la massima cremosità la regola n° 1 è mescolare continuamente, in questo modo il riso assorbirà meglio il brodo e i chicchi si gonferianno, garantendoti un risotto cremoso, vellutato senza l'aggiunta di burro. Se poi sei capace di "spadellare" il riso, meglio ancora!


Ingredienti


Per 4 persone


  • Mezza cipolla

  • Una carota

  • Una testa d'aglio (facoltativa)

  • 30 gr d'olio evo

  • 2 blocchi di spinaci congelati (oppure 140 gr se usi quelli freschi)

  • Un mazzo di coste

  • 300 gr di riso integrale o semi-integrale, o altro tipo a tua scelta

  • 60 gr di vino bianco secco

  • 700 gr di brodo vegetale


Istruzioni


  1. Tritare finemente la cipolla, la carota e le coste, dopodiché soffriggili in una padella ampia insieme agli spinaci surgelati, la testa d'aglio schiacciata, e l'olio extravergine di oliva a fuoco medio;

  2. Dopo 2-3 minuti, quando la cipolla si è imbiondita, alza la fiamma ed aggiungi il riso, sfuma con il vino e lasciare evaporare l'alcool, mescolando spesso 

  3. Dopo altri 2-3 minuti quando l'alcool è completamente evaporato (puoi rendertene conto annusando il vapore che sale dalla padella: non dovresti più sentire l'odore dell'alcool), versa un paio di mestoli di brodo vegetale, mescolando in modo che il riso non si attacchi;

  4. Copri con un coperchio e lascia cuocere a fuoco lento, mescolando abbastanza spesso per 10 minuti. Ogni volta che il riso ha assorbito il liquido, versa un altro mestolo di brodo vegetale fino a quando il riso è uniformemente cotto. Il tempo di cottura dipende dal tipo di riso: alcuni ci impiegano 10 minuti, altri (riso integrale o riso semi-integrale per es.) Impiegano più tempo. Tutto quello che devi fare è aggiungere un mestolo di brodo alla volta e mescolare, fino a quando il riso è cotto;

  5. Servi subito con un giro d'olio evo a crudo. Buon appetito!


Il risotto non tiene bene in freezer, meglio conservarlo in frigorifero chiuso in un contenitore ermetico per un paio di giorni al massimo. Per riscaldarlo, ripassalo in padella con qualche cucchiaio d'acqua per ammorbidilo.



Se anche tu hai fatto il risotto coste e spinaci, non dimenticare di taggare la nostra pagina Instagram e di postare la foto con l'hashtag #twocabbageskitchen. Ci piace tantissime vedere le tue creazioni :)

Con tanto love,

Cristiana & i Verzoni

Hope you enjoyed this recipe! Try it at home... I assure it's not difficult :)

Use the hashtag

#twocabbageskitchen on Insta

The Two Cabbages would

absolutely love to see your creation!

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