Risotto Tricolore

As is the case with so many of my recipes, this one has taken a few attempts to get right. I’ve lost count of the number of tweaks I’ve made to my Risotto Tricolore over the past few months. I always knew that there was a good recipe in there, but never quite got the presentation right. Even here it’s a little clumsy, but you can’t deny that you want to get stuck in.

I initially decided to make a Risotto Tricolore after making my Twisted Pesto Bread back in the Autumn. That combination of fresh basil and rich sundried tomatoes was so good in baked form that I had to use it somewhere else! As the bright colours of red and green together evoke the Italian flag fluttering in the breeze it feels like it was meant to be.

For the Twisted Pesto Bread I made my own pesto, as I wanted it to be something my vegan colleagues could enjoy too. As the traditional recipe uses Parmesan there was no way I could just pop open a jar. Its deeply savoury flavour is replaced here with nutritional yeast – which you can get in most health food stores or online. The other flavours remain untouched – with plenty of basil, olive oil and a good hit of garlic.

This vegan pesto isn’t quite as rich as the version with cheese, but that’s a small trade off. Once it’s mixed into a creamy risotto you’d never know the difference anway. Especially if you choose to top it off with a little bit of Vegan Cashew “Parmesan” – which is almost dangerously addictive. (Trust me – you’ll want to keep going back for more).

It’s delicious food like this that makes it so easy to give up meat and dairy – even if it’s only for one or two meals a week. Every little helps, let’s face it.

Buon appetito!



Risotto Tricolore

The bold colours of the Italian flag shine through in this flavour-packed risotto. With bright green from basil pesto and rich red from sundried tomatoes it's a feast for your eyes as much as your tastebuds. Plus, it's totally Vegan – what a bonus!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Risotto, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 730kcal

Ingredients

for the Basil Pesto

  • 40 g Fresh Basil leaves
  • 30 g Toasted Pine Nuts
  • 2 cloves Garlic peeled and coarsely chopped
  • ½ Lemon juice and zest
  • 5 g Nutritional Yeast
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt Flakes
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

for the Sundried Tomato Pesto

  • 60 g Sundried Tomatoes
  • 15 g Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 2 cloves Garlic peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 5 g Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

for the Risotto

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 75 g Onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 75 g Celery finely chopped
  • 75 g Carrot finely chopped
  • 300 g Arborio Rice
  • 200 ml Vermouth or Dry White Wine
  • 1 litre Good Quality Vegetable Stock

To Garnish, optional

  • 2 tbsp Vegan Cashew “Parmesan” see Notes
  • 2 tbsp Toasted Pine Nuts

Instructions

Make the Basil Pesto

  • Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth texture. You may need to add a little more oil or a splash of cold water if the mixture looks too thick.
  • Cover and put to one side until needed. If you’re making this in advance then store it in the fridge, but bring it back to room temperature before serving.

Make the Sundried Tomato Pesto

  • Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth texture. You may need to add a little more oil or a splash of cold water if the mixture looks too thick.
  • Cover and put to one side until needed. If you’re making this in advance then store it in the fridge, but bring it back to room temperature before serving.

Make the Risotto

  • Pour the oil into a deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add in the chopped onion, celery and carrot and sauté for 5-10 minutes until tender.
  • Pour the rice into the pan and stir through the vegetables until well mixed. Cook, stirring constantly, for a couple of minutes until the ends of each grain have turned slightly translucent.
  • Pour in the vermouth – it will bubble vigorously but you want to keep stirring the rice constantly until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Add a generous ladle of the stock into the pan and stir continuously. Turn the heat down to medium-high. When almost all of the stock has been absorbed add another ladle to the pan, continuing to stir the rice. Repeat this process of adding more warm stock to the pan once the previous addition has been absorbed by the rice. It will take about 18-20 minutes for the rice to cook through, but you may not need to use up all of the stock (see next step).
  • When the rice is tender to the bite, remove the pan from the heat and stir through 1 tsbp of the Cashew “Parmesan”, if using. Divide the mixture between four bowls, then add a generous swirl of each of the red and green pestos to each portion.
  • Garnish with the remaining Cashew “Parmesan” and toasted pine nuts.

Notes

Vegan Cashew “Parmesan” is quick and easy to make. You just need to blitz together some cashew nut, nutritional yeast and garlic in a food processor. I have a recipe for it here.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Estimated Values per Serving
Energy3,054kJ
730kcal
Fat31g
of which Saturates5g
Carbohydrates85g
of which Sugars7g
Fibre7g
Protein14g
Sodium445mg
Note: Nutritional information shown is per serving of the above recipe. Any side dishes or garnishes shown in photos are not included in these values, unless they are specifically listed as part of the recipe.

Scott Silverthorn

Hi, I’m Scott. I love cooking food and I love eating it - both useful credentials for writing a food blog! I get a lot of joy from sharing my passion with my friends and family, so here's hoping you enjoy it too.

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