This month for Recipes to Rival, Debyi of The Healthy Vegan Kitchen chose Asparagus & Lemongrass Risotto by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero from Veganomicon. She wanted to challenge us by going vegetarian and gluten free. Now, I don’t have a problem with that at all, but NO parmigiano reggiano in my risotto?! Could I do it??? Yes, I could, even though I had a little bowl of parm on hand, just in case. The one thing I did eliminate were the optional peanuts, because the thought of them in my risotto just ooged me out. What can I say? It’s my northern Italian blood talking here!
I had all the ingredients on hand, believe it or not. Arborio rice and asparagus in the freezer, shallots in the pantry, and fresh lemongrass growing in a pot in the back yard. Amazingly, I did not have to go shopping for a single item on the recipe. I must say, I was pretty pleased with myself when I realized I could cook this with the food I had on hand. Heh, heh.
I enjoyed making the risotto, although I did not put on relazing music or have an adult beverage as instructed by Debyi. Summer on the east coast is “sweating like a pig weather,” which is exactly what I did over a hot stove. The result was a lovely, light risotto with Asian flavors, which would NOT have worked with the aforementioned parmesan cheese, so I’m glad I left it out.
And if you’ve ever tried to photograph white, and ended up with a whited-out blog in the middle of the photo, you know what became of the photos of the finished dish. My risotto was still on the pale side, despite the tamari in the recipe. I really must devote some time to figuring out my new camera. But at least we’re eating well! Be sure to check out the R2R and Debyi’s blog for the recipe, as well as one she has for Tangerine Baked Tofu.