Risotto with mushrooms, broccoli rabe, and white beans

Mushrooms: we vegans have a special appreciation for them. Eaters of all stripes adore them, but they bring an especially deep, substantive flavor to vegan dishes that is seldom found in other plant-based foods. This is probably due in part to the fact that strictly speaking, of course, mushrooms aren’t plants at all, they’re fungi, and therefore don’t have to play by plants’ flavor rules. They are independent and can hold their own, especially when sautéed and cooked down with Marsala.

Of course, just because they’re independent doesn’t mean mushrooms can’t be friends with plants. I think this dish is proof positive of the deep and abiding love brown rice, mushrooms, and broccoli-family items have for one another. When combined with a few fat white beans and brightened up with some lemon zest, the trifecta really hit the spot today.  Try it out! Hope you love it as much as we did.

Brown rice risotto with mushrooms, broccoli rabe, and white beans

Serves 2 with leftovers

For the risotto

I learned how to make this from a Jamie Oliver cookbook. If you come over to my house and open Jamie’s Italy, it will open to the risotto section. I love it. So when I went vegan, it did too. This was my first time making it with brown rice, and it was delicious–nuttier and chewier than I’ve ever had, but mild enough that it doesn’t compete with the other strong flavors here–but it took for-freaking-ever. If you don’t have a solid hour to spend stirring it, go with traditional Arborio, which should take 20 minutes.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ small head celery, diced (fine to leave the leaves in)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup short-grain brown rice
  • ½ cup wine (dry white is best, but I used red because it was open)
  • 2 quarts veggie stock
  • 1 tsp Earth Balance
  • ¼ bunch parsley, chopped

You’ll also need a ladle and a wooden spoon.


  1. First, put your stock in a saucepan and start heating it over medium heat.
  2. Next, heat the olive oil over medium-high in a heavy pan with a lid that fits. Sauté the onion in it until translucent, then add the celery. Turn the heat down a little, stir, and cover. Let the veggies sweat for about 10 minutes, but don’t let them brown. My bro Jamie calls this a “soffrito.”
  3. Uncover, then add the brown rice and garlic and a nice pinch of salt. Turn up the heat back up to medium-high. Stir to coat the grains in oil and let them fry until they start making a little noise, but don’t let the oil smoke.
  4. Add the wine and stir until it evaporates, then turn heat back down to medium.
  5. Then, one by one, add ladlefuls of hot stock to your rice, stirring after each addition. You don’t have to stand over it for every second of the hour it will take you to make this if you’re doing it with brown rice, but you can’t neglect it, either. Ladle and stir, ladle and stir.
  6. You want the rice cooked through, but not like oatmeal. When it’s about at this point and nicely oozy, turn it off and add the Earth Balance and chopped parsley. Cover it and let it rest for 10 minutes. Don’t skip this step, no matter how hungry your friends are.

For the mushrooms

Start these about halfway through your risotto making process.


  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 10 medium white mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Marsala or other cooking sherry
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 1 cup white beans, drained
  • ½ lemon
  • Salt + pepper
  • Red pepper flakes


  1. Heat the oil in another skillet with a lid. (I only have one lid between my two skillets and it worked out fine for me making the risotto and mushrooms concurrently.) Add the mushrooms and sprinkle them with a little salt sauté until you can’t see the salt grains, then add the sherry and then let them sweat for 10-15 minutes.
  2. When the mushrooms are done, take them out of the pan and put ’em aside in a bowl.
  3. Rinse out your skillet, then add the garlic and fry for only about 30 seconds–you want to be able to smell it, but you do NOT want it to turn color.
  4. Add the broccoli and stir for a couple minutes, until bright green. Then add the white beans and let heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

Putting it all together
Pretty easy at this point. Put some risotto on a plate, add a dollop of some Sundried Tomato Purée to your vegan plate (if you still have some in your fridge!), or add a scoop of mascarpone to your omnivore’s plate. Then top with mushrooms and pile high with broccoli-bean-garlic stir-fry.

Squeeze a little lemon juice over each plate, add some red pepper flakes, and grate a little lemon zest on top.

Bonus: You only used two pans, one knife, and one cutting board!


1 Comment

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One response to “Risotto with mushrooms, broccoli rabe, and white beans

  1. Elizabeth

    I was already planning on making a barley risotto tonight, but I need some veggie inspiration (vegspiration?). Thanks, Caro. 🙂

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