Asparagus with Cannellini beans. The Asparagus was in season, local and so delicious. I wish I could eat asparagus all the time, but then would it be as special? I sliced up the ends and cooked them in the risotto, they went a vibrant lime green which looked so cool and futuristic! I saved the tips, then fried them quickly to serve on top, all juicy.
Carrot, Red Onion and Aduki beans. Again, aren't the colours amazing? This combination only happened because we fancied risotto and went raiding the cupboards to find only these vegetables. But I thought grated carrot might make an interesting texture and taste and was right! With the red onion it was really sweet, absolutely delicious. I added a little nutmeg near the end to bring out the sweetness further.
Mushroom and Aduki beans. Okay, so this one looks a bit more grey and sludgey, but what can you expect from mushroom risotto? It tasted beautiful, I rehydrated some dried mushrooms from the cupboard to use in it, then fried up some cheap fresh ones I had knocking around with garlic to go on top. I added quite a bit of thyme, just because mushrooms and thyme is one of my favourite combinations.
Plain Risotto with Haricot beans and Garlic, Mushrooms and Flat beans. This risotto was just very simple, while the others are exciting there's something just so appealing about the creamy molten onion. The texture is just so soothing! And that gentle softness with the crunchy flat beans and tangy garlicky mushrooms was fantastic.
I've also had a leek and butter bean one, which was great, like the asparagus the leek goes that neon green and looks amazing. We tried pea as well which was awesome too. I think adding beans and legumes is perfect, the small texture just fits in so well with risotto.
My basic risotto recipe in case anyone is interested:
Sweat one or two onions, then add any other veg you fancy and fry until lightly coloured.
Then add risotto/arborio rice and some stock cube/powder.
You can add a little wine or lemon juice if you want a zing, depending on the flavours you're adding. With the asparagus for example I found it really invigorated it.
Stir well and add some hot water from the kettle. You're probably aiming for about half a cup each time.
Stir well each time and when the liquid is absorbed keep adding more until your rice is cooked.
When the rice is nearly ready add canned beans, or pre-soaked and cooked dried beans. You can also stir in herbs, soy cheese or nutritional yeast if you want an extra flavour.
I'm sorry I don't have any measurements or anything but I'm sure google can help if you want them! I just tend to do it by eye and never bother with the pan of hot stock to add from, I just add the stock flavour at the start and then keep topping up hot water as I go, it seems to work just as well with less washing up.
I find risotto one of the perfect vegan foods, it has that rich creaminess that without cheese I sometimes miss. I also think it's a good thing to serve to omnivores, as there's not really any place to miss meat!