Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Risotto and Salad

Tonight I made up a couple of yummy-sounding recipes for the first time out of my Vegetarian Planet cookbook. This cookbook is not vegan, just meat-free, but these recipes were either vegan or were easily made so.
I was very impressed by the salad...even though the tomatoes I used were not fresh (oopsie! bad planning), it was still very flavorful and refreshing. Definitely will be making this really reminds me of spring/summertime. One note: I had coriander seeds, but they were not ground. I used something called a suribachi, basically a mortar and pestle in which the bowl is ceramic and has grooves to assist in grinding. In a few short minutes I was able to grind the seeds. Definitely a handy tool to have around!
The risotto was interesting...a few strange flavor combinations, and it definitely could've used more of something, thought I am having trouble putting my finger on what. It was good, creamy and satisfying, but a bit bland...I'm thinking maybe it needed more garlic, scallions, or spices...a simple fix for an otherwise easy and yummy dish.
I did have extras after dinner for both of these...I think these recipes are intended to serve 4. I don't mind though...lunch is ready for tomorrow! =)

Bistro Avocado Salad
1 ripe Haas avocado, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 tablespoons lime juice (from about 1 lime)
1 yellow or red medium tomato, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup minced red onion
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch squares
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1 small bibb or Boston lettuce head, broken apart

Put the avocado into a medium bowl and stir in the lime juice. Add the tomato, red onion, red pepper, mustard seeds, coriander, and olive oil. Add the salt and pepper, and toss well. Optional: refrigerate for a few hours for a colder salad.

Create a bed of lettuce leaves on your plate. Spoon the salad onto them and serve.

Using my suribachi

Salad finished product

Wild Risotto
1 cup water
1/4 cup uncooked wild rice
4 cups vegetable stock (or water)
2 teaspoons olive oil
6 scallions, both white and green parts, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (I know basically nothing about wine, so just picked up a $1.99 bottle of white at Whole Foods)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup coconut milk
1 cup fresh, or frozen and thawed, peas

In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the wild rice, cover the pan, and reduce the heat. Simmer 25 minutes. Drain the rice.

In a saucepan, bring the 4 cups stock or water to a simmer and keep it hot.

In a large skillet. heat the olive oil. Saute the scallions and garlic over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the Arborio rice and stir it for 2 minutes. Add the wine, the wild rice, and the tarragon. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, then add 1/2 cup of the heated stock or water. Stir frequently until liquid is absorbed, then add 1/2 cup more stock or water. Continue adding the stock or water in this manner, waiting between additions until the liquid is absorbed and stirring frequently. After about 18-20 minutes, most of the liquid should be used, and the rice should be tender but still slightly chewy.

 Sauteing the Arborio rice and scallions

When all of the stock or water is used, add the tomatoes, coconut milk, and peas. Stir the mixture and simmer it, stirring often, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Serve at once.

Finished risotto. The yellow color comes from the vegetable stock I used.

Dinner is served!

Bottom Line: Both tasty, surprising dishes that I would make again. Only changes would be fresh tomatoes for the salad, and more "oomph" by way of some more spices in the risotto. I think the coconut milk might have been responsible for muting the flavor a bit.

Recipes both taken from Vegetarian Planet, written by Didi Emmons.

No comments:

Post a Comment