One of the things I promised myself when I decided to eat vegetarian was I wasn't going to consume unappealing stuff just to avoid meat. There may be vegetarians out there (hats off to you) who stick to their principles, even if they have to restrict themselves to the bread basket (I mean the bread in the basket and not the basket itself) in a 5-star restaurant. Sorry, not that kind of chick. So every now and then I get stuck eating meat. Good thing about that scene is – I keep a reference to how non-veggie food tastes, and ensure all my vegetarian recipes compete.
Like this risotto recipe. Not a drop of chicken stock in it, but you won't miss it. I promise.
Lemon Risotto with Leeks and Peas
2 cups boiling water
2 rounded tsps (for 2 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
1 shallot, minced
3/4 cup chopped leek
2 tsps butter
1 tsp olive oil
2/3 cup Arborio rice
1/6 cup white wine
1 cup fresh (or frozen) peas
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/6 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp (plus a little more to garnish) grated lemon rind
Prepare a bouillon with the water and vegetable bouillon powder. In a large pot over medium heat, sauté the shallot and leek in the butter and olive oil for 2 min. Add the rice and sauté for 5 min. Add the white wine and stir until it's nearly absorbed. Add 1/3 cup of the bouillon and stir and continue to simmer until liquid is nearly absorbed. Continue adding 1/3 cupfuls of the bouillon and stirring. With the last addition of the bouillon, add the peas. Add 1/3 cupfuls of water if needed, and stir and simmer for a total of 25 min. or until the rice is creamy and firm but not hard. Stir in the lemon juice, Parmesan and 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind. Salt and pepper to taste. Plate, and sprinkle with a little more grated lemon rind. Serves 2.