August 17, 2011
Needless to say, by the time we got to the most beautiful Ballyvaughan, located in the heart of the Burren, Co. Clare (my home for the first two years of my Irish life) we couldn’t even see the far mountain through the mist and rain. We decided to stop for a very difficult allergy-free lunch in the pretty Tea Rooms and Gardens before heading on to Doolin to catch the ferry. Note: We were dripping after just going from the car to the café!
As we looked out we saw a small boat in the harbor which was being pelted around in circles by the wind... And then to our great surprise, we received the call: All ferries were cancelled due to the weather. Hahahahha! A happier call had never been received!
Seeing as we had all of that beautiful food measured out in the car we carried on with our elaborate camping plans... The highlight of which was definitely the Mushroom Risotto which was easily split into three!
This Risotto recipe is partly inspired by some foraging friends of mine in Cork and partly inspired by a wonderful cookbook I have, called the ‘The Cook’s Book’
The best thing about risotto is that its dead handy to make, doesn’t cost the earth and is totally hearty and delicious with loads of allergy-free adaptable qualities! A Dry White Wine is recommended but I used Sauvignon Blanc as recommended to me by a food-allergy tester as I can get overly flushed by some wine varieties. And of course, we wanted a nice wine to drink with the risotto so I brought a full-sized bottle!
- dairy free
- wheat free
- gluten free
- onion free (contains leek)
- sugar free
- tomato free
- potato free
- corn free
- soya free (with Pure Sunflower Margarine)
- egg free
1.5-2 pints vegetable stock
2tbsp olive oil
50-75g vegan margarine
1 small-medium sized leek finely chopped (just the white & light green portion)
275g risotto/arborio rice
50g(or to taste) dried mushrooms rehydrated and chopped (porcini or similar)
75ml white wine (alternative: water mixed with cider vinegar)
For the stock:
If you don’t have any pre-made or pre-bought stock you can
1. Put 2 pints water in a large saucepan and throw in a bay leaf, a lashing of dried mixed herbs, 1-3 cloves of garlic (optional), sea salt and ground black pepper to taste, half a carrot (optional), a stalk of celery (optional) and the discarded dark green portion of your leek (the upper half).
2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes. I also like to strain in the left over water from the re-hydrated mushrooms. Alternatively you could put in 2-3 dried mushrooms into the pot while simmering.
3. When complete, drain the stock through a sieve, and Voilá! Stock ready for your Risotto!
For the Risotto:
1. Heat the stock and keep at a gentle simmer.
2. Melt half the dairy free, vegan margarine in a large, deep pan (a wide pot will do if necessary) and sauté the leek. Be careful to keep the heat low and sauté the leek slowly because leek can easily burn or get tough and papery if cooked too quickly. Continue this until the leek is soft.
4. Add the wine and cook until it absorbs, stirring continuously.
5. Add the stock into the pan one ladleful at a time, stirring continuously. Do not add another ladleful until the previous one is completely absorbed.
6. When half of the stock has been absorbed add in the re-hydrated chopped mushrooms and stir well.
8. Stir in the rest of the margarine (this step is optional)
9. Let sit for 2 or so minutes, Season with sea salt and ground black pepper to taste and serve.