Asia meets Italy: riceless risotto with beets
I have realized, posting on Instagram and on this site, that I am more into preparing and sharing simple sweet treats rather than more complicated savories. True, I have a sweet tooth, but, don’t get me wrong, I also make savoury dishes . So, I need to equilibrate things here!
Annndd, I love risotto and I love combining different grains. This risotto, inspired by Naturally Ella (yes, again – I think our taste buds must have a similar DNA) is as simple to make as it is rich in taste. So, I guess you figure why I had to share it. It is a vegan-and-packed-in-protein variation of your standard risotto or, if you prefer, sort of like a savoury porridge. At the same time, it is an Asia-meets-Italy recipe, and BOTH are among my fav cuisines!
So, for 2 full servings, you will need:
- 1 cup steelcut oats and spelt (for the French speakers, boulgour d’avoine and boulgour d’épeautre – I find them in Le Retour à la terre, an organic food and vegan affecionados haven in Paris. If you don’t find them steelcut, as Ella says, you can crack them in a blender or a food processor, pulsating a few times – but be careful not to make them too dusty)
- 140 grams firm tofu (which I like buying marinated à la Japonaise)
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 1 medium cooked beetroot
- 1/2 glass white wine
- 1 teaspoon vegan coconut margarine (or 1 tablespoon coconut oil)
- 1 miso cube
- 1 teaspoon Thai herbs (coriander, ginger, Thai basil, lemongrass and chilli)
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalaya salt
Start by dissolving the miso cube in 1 litres simmering water, to make a broth. Switch off the heat but leave it on the warm stove.
In a large pan, melt the margarine on medium heat and add the onion (which you would have minced before), cooking it until translucent. Add the garlic (having minced it too), and the salt, and cook for an additional minute. Reduce the heat to low. Add the oats and spelt, and stir them in so as to coat them. Add the wine and cook until it has been fully absorbed. Then add 1/2 cup of the broth and cook until it has been absorbed, stirring occasionally. Add another 1/2 and repeat the process until the grains are cooked. This can take some 30-40 minutes. Just after adding the last broth, add the Thai spices.
When the grains are done, just before switching off the heat, crumble the tofu and mix it in. Then switch it all off and add the baby spinach, mixing well.
When you are ready to serve, cut the beetroot into small cubes and put them on top of the risotto.
Et voilà! It is really yummy. Cut the beet into cubes.