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June 23, 2013


Vegan Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms

by Anne Paddock

Risotto is usually thought of as a wintertime dish because of its hearty nature but during the summertime, a light risotto with asparagus and mushrooms can be a refreshing change. Skip the butter and parmesan cheese; instead rely on a bit of olive oil, dry white wine, vegetables, a small amount of mild elephant garlic and broth to give the risotto body, flavor and texture. Tender and creamy but not heavy, Vegan Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms is especially delicious with chopped fresh parsley and a sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt added just before serving.

DSC_0111Simple to make, Vegan Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms can be done from start to finish in less than 45 minutes. The upfront time is devoted to chopping the vegetables while the cooking time for the risotto is about 23 minutes.

1 cup of arborio rice
1 pound of Bella mushrooms, sliced or quartered
1 large onion, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 clove of elephant garlic pressed through a garlic press
1/2 cup of dry white wine
4 cups of low sodium vegetable broth (I use Pacific Low Sodium Vegetable broth)
2 bunches of fresh asparagus (1 bunch of purple, if available and 1 bunch of green or 2 bunches of green), cut into 1-inch halved pieces
1/2 cup of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
salt and pepper


  • In a large non-stock sauté pan, turn the heat on medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and when hot (but not smoking), add the chopped mushrooms and minced onion. Add a sprinkle of salt. Sauté for 7 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the pressed garlic and cook for one minute.
  • Remove the vegetables from the pan, reserving the liquid in the pan to cook the asparagus.
  • Add the asparagus to the sauté pan, a sprinkle of salt and sauté over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until slightly tender (test with a fork). Don’t overcook as crisp asparagus adds a perfect crunch to this dish. Add the asparagus pieces to the mushroom mixture, stir to blend, and tent the vegetables to keep warm.
  • In a large sauce pan over medium heat, pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the cup of arborio rice stirring to coat for about 2 minutes. The rice will start to become translucent.
  • Add 1/2 cup of wine and stir until absorbed – 2-3 minutes.
  • Add 2 cups of low sodium vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Look at the clock and note the time. Add 23 minutes to the time and remember this number as the dish will be done in 23 minutes. For example, if the clock says 6:00 pm, the risotto will be done at 6:23.  Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle boil. When the broth has been absorbed – in about 10 minutes – add 1/2 cup of additional vegetable broth every 3 minutes, stirring often to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. As the dish progresses, more stirring is needed because the rice is absorbing the broth. The total amount of broth used will be approximately 4 cups.  Remove from heat.
  • Stir in the mushroom, onion, and asparagus mixture. Stir in the chopped parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings or 8-10 side servings.
  1. Jun 23 2013

    How about broccoli?

  2. Dania
    Jun 23 2013

    Sounds great. Will make it tomorrow. Any suggestions for a substitute vegetable to use instead of the asparagus?

  3. Jun 23 2013

    I agree! Asparagus, mushrooms and onions were made to be together!

  4. Jun 23 2013

    This is my fav combo in a risotto

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