Baked mushroom risotto with caramelized onions [Vegan]

Jaymi's Notes:
I love a good risotto but had never made one myself from scratch until trying this recipe. Now this might just be my go-to recipe when I'm craving a deliciously savory version, now that I know how easy it is to create.

To do caramelized onions right means giving them at least 40 minutes on the stove over a very low heat, so I started the onions as soon as I put the risotto in the oven. The timing was perfect, with the onions finishing up just a few minutes after the risotto came out of the oven, allowing it the time it needed to sit before dishing it. The best part is this makes plenty of leftovers which are perfect for lunches during the week.

More on The Cooking Project.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Kelly's Recipe:

Risotto
is one of those dishes that usually gets relegated to the weekend. Nobody wants to come home from work, do the prep work and then stand at the stove stirring rice for at least half an hour. Now here is a risotto dish that you can bake in the oven, while you sit down and have your martini. While this is not exactly the same texture as traditionally cooked risotto, unless you are registered in a Golden Spoon Competition, I think you'll be quite satisfied with the results. The rosemary in this was a great addition. The flavour came through without overpowering the other ingredients, as fresh rosemary can sometimes do, and it made the kitchen smell great while the risotto was baking. I'll still make risotto the old fashioned way, but this is a great recipe for a mid-week dinner. Using the caramelized onions on top keeps this a vegan dish, but if you can always go with the traditional Parmesan cheese, if you like.

From the website The Kitchn.

© Jaymi Heimbuch
Baked Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions

1/2 ounce dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms, finely chopped
2 cups boiling water
1/3 cup olive oil, divided
4 yellow onions (about 2 pounds)
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
1 cup Arborio or short-grain white rice
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc (make sure it's vegan!)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to garnish

1. Heat the oven to 300°F. Rinse the dried mushrooms lightly, to remove any dust or grit. Place the mushrooms in a ceramic bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Set them aside to steep while you cook the onions.

2. Chop one of the onions into a fine dice. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 3-quart (or larger) ovenproof pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, or until soft and golden. Push the onions to the side of the pot, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add all the sliced cremini mushrooms and let them cook for 5 minutes without stirring. Flip the mushrooms and cook for another five minutes, or until they are quite brown and a crust is developing on the bottom of the pan.

3. Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Add the mushrooms and rosemary sprig to the pan and sauté briefly, mixing with the onion and the rest of the mushrooms. Add the rice and cook, stirring once or twice, for about 4 minutes, or until the rice begins to turn transparent. Turn the heat to high and add the white wine, vinegar, broth, and reserved mushroom steeping liquid. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan as you add the liquid to deglaze any yummy mushroomy bits sticking to the pan. Stir in the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and put it in the oven to bake for 35 minutes.

4. While the rice is baking, make the caramelized onions. Heat the remaining olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Cut the remaining three onions in half, and then slice them into thin half moons. Add them to the oil and sprinkle liberally with salt. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn a dark mahogany brown. Let them go as long as you can, at least 30 minutes.

5. When the risotto has finished baking, let it stand uncovered for 5 minutes before serving.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tags: Cooking | Recipes | The Cooking Project | Vegan | Weekday Vegetarian

Best of TreeHugger