The Jew And The Carrot

Mayim Bialik's Winter Vegetable Risotto

By Mayim Bialik

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Risotto is often hard to mimic as a vegan dish because it calls for lots of Parmesan and butter to create its creamy taste and consistency. This recipe re-creates all of that, using a combination of almond milk, tahini, and a touch of nutritional yeast. The result is a sophisticated risotto, which we pair with carrots, parsnips, and butternut squash. You can use any vegetables on hand, though, including diced asparagus, zucchini, or other squash.

Serves 6

1 medium-size carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium-size parsnip, peeled and diced
1 (1-pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or thyme, chopped
5 tablespoons olive oil
5 1/2 cups vegan vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup onion or shallot, chopped
1. cups uncooked arborio rice
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk (rice or soy milk works, too)
2 tablespoons tahini
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon mirin (see Kitchen Tip)

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2) Place the carrot, parsnip, and squash in a large bowl with the rosemary. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until soft but not mushy.

3) In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the stock and wine and heat to simmering. Lower the temperature to a simmer.

4) In a large nonstick pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and rice and saut. for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the rice starts to be toasted.

5) Add 1 cup of the simmering broth-and-wine mixture to the rice and cook, stirring continuously, until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue adding the broth 1 cup at a time, cooking and stirring as it is absorbed. It will take about 20 minutes for all the broth to be absorbed and for the rice to become tender and creamy.

6) Add the almond milk, tahini, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, and mirin and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the roasted veggies. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Kitchen Tip: Mirin is a sweet rice wine. If you can’t find it, you can use dry sherry or white wine with a pinch of sugar.

From Mayim’s Vegan Table: More Than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours by Mayim Bialik with Dr. Jay Gordon. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.


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