I don’t know about you, but my appetite totally changes in summer – luckily! It’s always very welcome to loose a little weight here and there and keep healthy. I crave lot’s of fresh fruit and vegetables in summer, I’m sure many people do, however, I do like one still substantial meal in the evening I cook. Lots of salads, seasonal produce and light cooked meals are on the menu. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours are in, even more than in other seasons. Like this Vegan Lemon, Asparagus and Leek Risotto Recipe. It’s fairly straightforward to make it, a fresh, zingy and elegant dish.
I mentioned the importance of seasonal eating and using seasonal – a.k.a local – produce whenever we can, but in spring and summer, there’s no excuse not to eat seasonally. We have the best of all the crops! Fresh, juicy fruit, fragrant and fresh herbs and vegetables bursting with flavour. If it’s organic, even better.
Like I mentioned before, there are many advantages of eating seasonal food whenever possible:
- it’s more local so it doesn’t travel
- lower carbon footprint
- more flavourful
- more nutritious
- more sustainable
Since we are nearing the end of asparagus season, I’m eating lots of asparagus these days. I like it simply roasting it with garlic and chilli oil or in pasta sauce but my favourite has to be this Vegan Lemon, Asparagus and Leek Risotto Recipe.
Vegan Lemon, Asparagus and Leek Risotto Recipe
Like with most dishes – it’s easy to swap out the vegan ingredients (like nutritional yeast) for vegetarian ones (cheese). Also, if you don’t have wine at home, just skip it altogether, I’ve tried this recipe without wine too and i’s still very nice.
Vegan Lemon, Asparagus and Leek Risotto - a refreshing summer meal!
- 1 bunch asparagus approx 15 spears, washed and chop into thirds
- 1/2 yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 leek washed and sliced
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 250 g risotto rice rinsed thouroghly
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 2 tsp dried thyme or a spring of fresh thyme
- 1 lemon
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- splash of white wine
- salt and pepper to taste
Chop up the vegetables and start softening all the onions in a large pan on the heated olive oil on medium heat.
In the meantime, rinse the rice and make the stock.
When the onions are soft enough, add the rice and stir until all the moisture evaporated. Now add a splash of white wine, this can me anything 50-100ml but you can skip it altogether if you have no wine at all.
Stir until the wine is evaporated.
Add 1/3 of the stock, turn the heat down to very low. Stirring frequently, cook until the stock is all absorbed.
Now add the second 1/3 of the stock and repeat the process.
Add all the spices and nutritional yeast at halfway and the asparagus pieces.
When this lot of the stock is also evaporated, add the remaining stock and finish cooking. Make sure, a little moisture left when turning off the heat as the rice will keep continuing absorbing the stock and otherwise it will go a bit dry. (If this happens, just add some more stock or stir in some vegan butter.)
Serve the risotto and sprinkle a generous amount of fresh lemon juice over the dish. Serve it immediately with a segment of lemon on the side.