Wild Garlic Risotto
Blanched and puréed wild garlic leaves give this creamy risotto a vibrant green color and infuse it with the most delicate yet punchy flavor. Finished with vegan Parmesan cheese sauce, it's my favorite recipe to make with this extra special ingredient. The wild garlic has a short season, so see recipe notes on how to freeze the purée for later use.
- 1 cup arborio/risotto rice
- 3 green onions, white parts only
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups loosely packed wild garlic leaves
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lemon
- fresh cracked black pepper
For the Vegan Parmesan Cheese Sauce
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp miso paste
- 1 tsp tapioca flour optional, but helps give it a stretchy cheesy texture
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 lemon, juice
- Prepare a bowl of ice water.
- Make your vegan cheese sauce by combining the cashews, water, miso paste, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and tapioca flour in a high powered blender until extra smooth and creamy. **The tapioca flour is optional, but it helps give the sauce a cheesy fork-feel when heated.** (see recipe notes)
- Bring 2 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups of water to a boil. Add your washed wild garlic leaves and blanch for 30-60 seconds. Remove and refresh by plunging into the ice bath to preserve the green color.
- Reduce the heat on the broth to a very low simmer — this will be the broth for your risotto.
- Put the leaves into a food processor or blender and blend until very smooth, and not stringy. Set aside.
- In a sauté pan over medium-high, heat 1 tsp olive oil and add the sliced white parts of the green onion. Cook for about 5 minutes until translucent but not browning.
- Add the rice (do not pre-rinse risotto rice!) and a pinch of salt and stir to combine, toasting the rice for a couple of minutes in the pan.
- Add 1/2 cup white wine and cook, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Add in the simmering broth, 1/2 cup at a time. Stir constantly until the liquid is absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup in. This should take about 30 minutes. You want the rice to be cooked through, but with a slight bite (not one that gets stuck in your teeth). It will be creamy.
- When your rice is done, turn the heat to medium-low, add in the garlic puree along with 1 tbsp butter and 1 tsp salt and stir to combine.
- Add the cheese sauce and stir until well incorporated, cooking over medium-low for 3-5 more minutes.
- Divide amongst bowls and serve warm. Top with a generous amount of fresh cracked black pepper!
Wild garlic leaves can be foraged in the English countryside — if you are picking yourself, be sure not to pull up the roots so the bounty will regrow in coming years. In the US, I have found them available in farm boxes. They are also called Ramsons. MAKING THE CHEESE SAUCE: If you are not using a high powered blender, be sure to soak your cashews for at least 2 hours or overnight to help them get extra smooth. Drain the soaking liquid before blending. TO FREEZE: Pour the purée into silicon ice molds and freeze overnight, then pop out and store in a freezer safe bag. These should keep for 2-3 months. To re-use for this recipe, put the frozen purée cubes in a small pot over low heat and cover, allowing to de-thaw slowly. Then proceed with the recipe.