Monday, January 30, 2012


Best Blog Tips

Sometimes on our walks on Denman Island we are lucky enough to discover wild edible mushrooms (ones that we are familiar with, I hasten to add).  That’s what inspired this particular recipe— one spring morning we discovered oyster mushrooms growing on a fallen log.  We picked quite a few on our way back to the house. I love finding gourmet ingredients in the wild!

The Oyster Mushroom Sauté: For lunch that day, I sautéed about 2 cups of cleaned, sliced oyster mushrooms with some Soy Curls® (about 2 cups), already reconstituted with veggie "chicken" broth, lots of garlic, and some chopped fresh rosemary in a little olive oil. (You can substitute veggie "chicken" strips or tofu, instead.) After the mushrooms have wilted a bit, I added 1/2 cup of veggie "chicken broth", 1/4 cup of dry sherry, salt and pepper, and let it cook down (all this at high heat, stirring frequently). Of course, if you can't find oyster mushrooms in your grocery store, or you have no source of wild ones, or you don't grow them yourself (it's possible!), you can use an favorite mushroom instead.

I served the  sauté on top of the following colorful saffron risotto studded edamamé (green soybeans), and creamy with vegan cheese. 

I cook risotto in a microwave oven. (Afraid of microwave ovens?) We love risotto, but I must admit that we would hardly ever have it if I had to stir it for half an hour.  Barbara Kafka, one of America's most renowned food writers and for many years a columnist for Gourmet magazine, writes in her book “Microwave Gourmet”: "If anything could convince the true cook, or even the ardent eater, that the microwave oven is a tool worth having, it would be that it makes risotto divinely, effortlessly, and relatively rapidly while the cook talks to the guests. From being a once-a-year treat, it can go to being an everyday delight." And: "The very idiosyncrasy of cooking that makes the microwave oven generally unacceptable for the cooking of floury dishes makes risotto work well. Starch absorbs liquid slowly in the microwave oven, and it also absorbs too much. That is exactly what you want the rice to do in a risotto."

Printable Recipe

Serves 4 as a side dish or starter, 2 or 3 as a main dish
This is the exception to the rule that it isn't really a time-saver to cook rice in a microwave oven. With this method, you can have creamy, savory risotto in under 20 minutes, with little or no stirring. Another advantage is that you can cook it right in the serving dish, so you have no dirty pot. And it saves energy, as do most countertop appliances.

Have ready the Oyster Mushroom Sauté described above.

For the Risotto:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup arborio rice (or other Italian superfino rice)
2 3/4 cups hot chicken-style vegetarian broth
pinch Spanish saffron
1/4 cup dry sherry (or more broth-- 3 use cups liquid in total)
1 cup thawed frozen (shelled) edamamé (green soybeans)
a large handful of mozzarella-style vegan cheese
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Add the olive oil to a medium-to-large-sized microwave-safe casserole. Cook on High power for about 30 seconds. Add the onion, cover and cook on High power for 1 1/2 minutes. Add the rice, and stir well. Cook UN-covered on High power for 1 1/2 minutes, then add the liquids and saffron and stir well.

Cook uncovered on High power for 7 minutes. While the risotto cooks, you can make your sauté to top off the risotto. It doesn't have to be what I described above; it can be your own invention.

After 7 minutes, add the edamamé to the risotto and microwave on High power about 7 minutes longer. Stir the "cheese", stirring well but carefully, until it melts.

The rice should slightly sauce-y. I don’t like it too “soupy”, but that’s up to you. Taste the rice for doneness-- you may need to cook it for another minute or so— this will depend on the power of your microwave.

Serve very hot on a heated soup or pasta plates, with the Oyster Mushroom Sauté placed decoratively on top. Add a sprig of fresh herb, if you have some in your garden.



Spice Island Vegan said...


Yum yum! This looks so good. I just bought saffron and I love oyster mushrooms. I can buy oyster mushrooms cheap where I am. I am not afraid of microwave. :-)


Anonymous said...

Do you prefer Better Than Boullion instead of your "Homemade Vegan "Chicken-Style" Broth Powder"?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I use both, but I use Better than Bouillon where I want a really rich taste, and in dishes that are not very seasoned, where the broth really matters. But use whatever broth you prefer.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I understand you would want a rich broth for risotto. Can't wait to make your broth powder to use in soups, etc., I just need to pick up some rice protein powder.

Your risotto looks delicious. I'll have to try this microwave method, I usually use a pressure cooker.

Kumudha said...

Your blog is amazing!

Thank you so much for sharing so many vegan recipes and inspiring people to try plant-based food...

Mary said...

Hi Bryanna, can you tell me if on you World vegan feast book page 3 where you ask for soy protein powder, can I substitute it with soy flour? Thank you!

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Mary, probably. It's meant as a sort of emulsifier.

Carrie™ said...

Risotto in the microwave?!!! I'm all over this! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

Spice Island Vegan said...


I tried this risotto and it was marvelous! I used my microwave and used Better than Bouillon Vegan No Chicken base. It was so easy with microwave.