Creamy vegan risotto with mushrooms & sausage
This full-bodied risotto is extra creamy by way of cashew cream. It's a vegan main or side dish that really feels like an indulgence. It's loaded with mushrooms and seitan sausage. Worthy of a date night! Makes about 3 1/2 cups of risotto.
Servings: 4 people
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons raw cashews*
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth**
- 2 teaspoons organic canola oil or other neutral-flavored high heat oil, divided
- 1 cup 6 ounces chopped seitan sausage (I used Herbivorous Butcher garlic sausage), small to medium bite-sized pieces
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- Pepper to taste
Make the cashew cream. Put the raw cashews into a high speed blender with 1/2 cup of water. Blend until it is completely smooth, a thick cashew cream. Set aside.
Bring a small pot of vegetable broth to a low heat on the stove. You'll come back to it in a bit.
Bring a large non-stick skillet to a medium heat with one teaspoon of oil. Brown the seitan sausage pieces in the skillet to give them some color on both sides. This should just take a couple of minutes. Remove the sausage pieces from the skillet, and transfer them to a plate for later.
Add a half teaspoon of oil to the skillet, as well as the sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Allow the mushrooms to release their liquid and brown in the skillet. Once the mushrooms are brown on one side, flip them. (Moving the mushrooms too often will slow their browning.)
Once the mushrooms have some nice color, push them to one side of the skillet. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oil to the empty side of the skillet, along with chopped onions & garlic. Saute the onions and garlic for a couple minutes, until fragrant. Then stir them together with the mushrooms.
Add Arborio rice, dried thyme, dried rosemary, and a grind of black pepper to the skillet. Use a spatula to fully incorporate all of the ingredients. Cook for a minute or so.
Now it's time to start incorporating the warm broth. Add one or two ladles of warm broth to the skillet. Stir the Arborio rice mixture almost constantly. The ingredients in the skillet should be at a low simmer. You don't want everything to boil off quickly, but you also don't want the heat so low that it takes forever to cook.
Once the rice has fully absorbed the first round of broth, add another ladleful and allow that to be absorbed, continuing to stir often. Keep going in this manner - ladle by ladle - until all of the broth is used. (Once the broth is gone out of the small pot, remember to turn off the heat.) As it cooks, the risotto will start to thicken. It should take about 25 minutes for all of the broth to be absorbed into the rice. Take a bite. The rice should be perfectly al dente. (It's unlikely, but if it still feels too hard, you can add a splash more of water to the rice until it reaches the right texture.)
Now it's time to add the cashew cream. Pour the cashew cream into the skillet, and fully combine. Add the browned sausage to the skillet as well. Allow the risotto to cook for a minute or so longer, and for the sausage to warm up again. The risotto should be velvety and rich. Taste for salt & pepper, and add more if necessary. Serve right away.
*If you aren't using a high speed blender, you'll need to soak the raw cashews in additional water for several hours to soften and then drain before continuing with the recipe. Or grind the dry raw cashews in a clean coffee grinder until they are fine like a flour. Then add them to your standard blender with the water. If you're using a high speed blender, you can skip this step.
**If you'd prefer, instead of vegetable broth you can use 3 1/2 cups of water + 1 Tablespoon Better Than Bouillon in the no-chicken base. Just stir the Better Than Bouillon into the warm water until it dissolves.
Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 6g | Sodium: 986mg | Potassium: 374mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 440IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 3.5mg