Toasted Almond and Asparagus Risotto


Recipe credit:
Jackie Freeman, chefjackiefreeman.wixsite.com/kitchenmonkeys
Photo Credit: Anne Watson, www.annewatsonphoto.com
Serves 2 to 3

Welcome spring! Risotto is a hearty and warming meal that is perfect for those in-between days, when it’s not quite warm, but it’s not quite cold. Spring’s most famous vegetable, asparagus, is paired with bright lemon and crunchy almonds in this elegant but easy vegan dish.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped, divided
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 4 to 5 cups hot vegetable broth, as needed
  • 1/2 cup nutpods (original)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed and stalks cut into 1-inch pieces

Instructions

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wide saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in 3 cloves chopped garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Pour rice into the pan and stir to coat with oil. Continue stirring until rice edges are translucent and rice smells toasted, about 3 minutes. Deglaze with white wine and simmer until reduced.

Add hot broth, one cup at a time, stirring frequently, until absorbed. Continue adding broth until rice is al dente, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in nutpods, nutritional yeast and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add almonds and asparagus and sauté until almonds are fragrant and asparagus is crisp-tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in remaining garlic, salt and pepper and cook for 1 additional minute.