Creamy, Southern Succotash Risotto (vegan, gluten-free, pareve*, low-calorie)


So this is one of those strangely delicious dishes that sounds odd on paper, but turns out amazing! It’s perfectly filling as a main dish, or yummy with barbecue (vegan riblets are killer with this dish), or in this case, turk’y cutlets from Gardein (which just happened to be what we had on hand).

The great thing about this dish is that it is ultra-satisfying—creamy, smooth, delicious. Also, it’s surprisingly healthy, with just a couple teaspoons of olive oil, healthy Arborio rice and vegetables. The creamed corn (garmonbozia) is not my favorite side by itself, but in this case it adds just the right amount of creamy richness and touch of sweetness that balances the lack of cream or dairy.

Butter beans add protein to this dish, and yes, it’s starchy, but it’s filling in a stick-to-your ribs way that you normally don’t get from a vegan “side”.

Typically when I make risotto I make enough to have ample leftovers. It reheats beautifully, and stands on its own as a lunch dish or quick dinner. To reheat, I just add a little water to thin it out, and heat over low heat, covered until it’s warmed through.

Now, Risotto gets a bad rap for being difficult to make, but it’s so darn easy that I just don’t understand. Yes, it requires a little stir now and again, but it’s not nearly as high maintenance as you might have heard. Give it a chance. You won’t be sorry.

*Check your ingredients if you have dietary restrictions—some processed foods may need to be subbed for my gluten-free and Kosher-keeping friends.

Sweating the onions and crisping up the rice

First sauté the onions over low heat for a few minutes until they are clear. To the onions add the risotto in ½ cup amounts, and stir.

Butter beans Mmm…mmm…

Next add the beans (I used frozen, but rinsed from the can would have been fine too).

creamy broth

Add the creamed corn, and cover everything with vegetable broth. It will seem very soupy, but don’t panic.

Add the seasonings

I added salt and a little of my Weed’s Dill Blend to mine, but any dill-based seasoning blend will do. I also added some Tony Chachere’s salt free blend as well, which I think adds a nice southern flair.

Uncovered

From there you should cover and let it go for 15 minutes on low. Uncover, or peek occasionally until it’s thick-ish. From here, yes, you are going to want to give it a little stir every 3 minutes or so. If it starts to stick add more broth and stir.

Voila—dinner (and lunch and dinner) is served

That’s it! Taste the rice to make sure it’s “toothsome” (soft but with just a hint of chewy texture). You can add a little bit of cracked black pepper, or stir in some nutritional yeast if feel it needs a little something, but I find it pretty darn perfect on its own.

With a delicious Turk’y patty from Gardein