Look at this festive little vegan risotto recipe! I’ve been working on a broccoli rabe risotto for a bit and when I thought about combining it with roasted radicchio, I knew that with the green and red/burgundy, it would be so fun to post right before the holidays. It’s a real celebration of bitter veg, which I always lean into in the Winter months. Something about them just makes me feel a little extra sparkly and good.
When I’m in the right mood, I love making veggie risotto the old fashioned way (so much stirring haha). I find it really relaxing to stand over the stove and keep ladling and stirring into the rice. For this reason, I like to get all of the prep/chopping/measuring out of the way first so that I can be really mindful of the rice and how much liquid it’s absorbing etc.
The inspiration for this recipe:
- When starting to work on this recipe, I knew that I wanted to make a broccoli rabe risotto, and I wanted it to be puréed into the rice so that it would be bright green. Andy Boy Broccoli Rabe has a recipe similar to this on their site! I subbed green onions in the purée for chives since I can’t always find chives this time of year. I also reduced the volume of broccoli rabe.
- I’ve had a version of risotto al radicchio before and loved it so much. My recipe here is quite different, but I was inspired by how much I loved the caramelized and soft radicchio in that original dish. In my recipe, we roast it in the oven, finish with balsamic vinegar, and use it like a topping to the finished risotto. A little red/burgundy on the green! :)
Can you make risotto without wine?
- I don’t drink alcohol these days, but I still use wine in my cooking for the flavour and acidity sometimes. The cooking process burns off the alcohol, which I’m personally fine with.
- But if you want to avoid it entirely, just use an equal amount of vegetable stock and remember to finish your risotto with an extra splash of something acidic like lemon juice or white wine vinegar. You can always adjust to your taste as you go.
Risotto without parmesan cheese?!
- Believe it! We use light miso to give us that salty hit of umami. It’s rich in glutamates and makes this broccoli rabe risotto so savoury.
- I’ve used this trick before with my Easy Vegan Instant Pot Mushroom Risotto. It really enhances the flavour of everything else involved in the dish.
- To use miso here, we simply whisk it into the last couple ladlefuls of warm vegetable stock before adding it to the rice.
- Of course, I like to top my risotto with some homemade vegan “parmesan,” but it doesn’t 100% need it. Sometimes more is more though :)
I hope that you give this one a try soon! For a less bitter and faster vegan dinner recipe with a similar feel, I recommend my Creamy Lemon Orzo with Chickpeas and Broccoli.
Broccoli Rabe Risotto with Balsamic Roasted Radicchio
- ½ bunch broccoli rabe, roughly chopped
- 2 green onions, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 head radicchio, cut into wedges
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 large shallot, fine dice (about ½ cup diced shallot)
- ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 ½ cups arborio rice
- 2 tablespoons light miso
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- vegan "parmesan" for serving
- I don’t drink alcohol, but I still use wine in my cooking for the flavour and acidity sometimes. The cooking process burns off the alcohol, which I’m fine with. If you want to avoid it entirely, just use an equal amount of vegetable stock and remember to finish your risotto with an extra splash of something acidic like lemon juice or white wine vinegar.
- I used an aged, slightly syrupy balsamic vinegar here and it was lovely!
- I don’t recommend substituting brown rice of any kind. I just don’t like the texture of it in risotto at all personally, and I don’t think it works!
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Make the broccoli rabe purée. Bring some water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the broccoli rabe and green onions. Once the broccoli rabe is bright green and stalks are slightly tender, about 3 minutes, drain and run under cold water. Transfer the broccoli rabe, green onions, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and ¼ cup of the olive oil to an upright blender. Blend on high until you have a rough purée. If the blades aren’t moving, add a splash of water. Set aside. Wipe out the saucepan and place it back on the stove.
- Place the radicchio wedges on the baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup. Brush this mixture all over the radicchio wedges and season with salt and pepper. Slide it into the oven and set a timer for 10 minutes. When the 10 minutes are up, flip the pieces over, and set a timer again for 5 minutes. Once it's slightly wilted and caramelized on the edges, remove from the oven and set aside.
- Pour the vegetable stock into the saucepan and bring it up to a simmer. Leave it on a low simmer on a back burner. Set a ladle beside.
- Heat a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Pour in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and swirl it around. Lower the heat slightly. Add the shallots and sauté for 8-10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent and soft. Add the smoked paprika and garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice. Stir and simmer until the stock is absorbed, about 5 to 7 minutes. Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring often. After each addition, cook until the mixture seems just a little bit dry, then add the 2 ladles of stock. When you’re down to the last 2 ladles of stock, add the miso to the pot of stock and whisk vigorously to dissolve it before adding to the rice. Continue until the rice is cooked through, but still has a bit of chew, about 30 minutes total.
- Stir in the broccoli rabe purée and lemon juice, and add some pepper. Check the risotto for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve the broccoli rabe risotto with the caramelized radicchio on top and vegan “parmesan,” if using. Enjoy!