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Sunchoke (Jerusalem Artichoke) Risotto

January 5, 2012

Who’s in the mood for a brand new risotto recipe?!

Apologies to anyone hoping to gawk at some attractive food photos today: risotto’s never pretty, and these were ugly photos to boot. The good news is that the dish itself is delicious, despite appearances.

So what is it? None other than Sunchoke Risotto, an original recipe I came up with the other night in my continuing efforts to discover as many different ways to enjoy sunchokes while they’re still in season. I’ve already raved about my Sunchoke Soup and Sunchoke Hummus, and I also made a Cream of Sunchoke Pasta not too long ago (although I still haven’t gotten around to blogging that). Using sunchokes in a risotto was an idea I got from my mother, and I was excited to try it out, especially since it’s been a while since I’ve made a risotto.

My basic plan was simply to follow this fantastic Broccoli Risotto recipe from VeganDad (which I once called here “the best vegan risotto I’ve ever tasted”), subbing in sunchokes for the broccoli. More specifically, I boiled some sunchokes for a while to create a sunchoke broth, then used that broth to cook the arborio rice, adding in the cooked sunchokes at the end. Although this was a slightly long process (about an hour and a half from start to finish), it was very easy and straightforward to execute, and came out tasting awesome, as anticipated.

Sunchoke Risotto
(makes about 6 large servings)

Ingredients

  • about 2 cups sunchokes, left unpeeled and diced into small bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • about 8 cups water or light vegetable broth
  • 1 glove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • oil, 3 tbsp vegan butter, salt, sugar, pepper, and thyme

Instructions

  1. Start by cooking your sunchokes and making a sunchoke broth (a process very similar to the one I use in making Sunchoke Soup). Heat some oil in a large pot and add half of the sliced onion. After a few minutes, add in the diced sunchoke pieces and a few generous pinches of salt and sugar. Stir around and let cook for several minutes, until lightly caramelized. Then add about 8 cups water (or light vegetable broth, if you have it), bring to a boil, and then simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, until the sunchokes are soft.
  2. Strain your broth, saving the sunchokes and onions in a colander, and collecting the broth in another pot or bowl below. You don’t want anything to go down the sink here; you just want to separate about the solids from the liquid. Now you’re ready to start the risotto!
  3. In the same pot in which you cooked the sunchokes (which should now be empty), heat 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of vegan butter. Add the other half of the sliced onion and the chopped garlic and cook for a few minutes until soft but not brown.
  4. Add rice and stir around for a few minutes, until it starts to look translucent. Add some salt and pepper (don’t worry too much about amounts; you can add in some more at the end to taste) and then 1/2 cup of your sunchoke broth, stirring around constantly, until it’s absorbed, adjusting the heat as necessary.
  5. Add the 1/2 cup of wine and do the same thing: stir around constantly, until it’s absorbed.
  6. From here on out, all you have to do is use up the rest of your broth, adding it in 1/2 cup increments and stirring everything around until it’s absorbed. You should’ve ended up with between 6 and 7 cups of sunchoke broth from before. Once you get near the end of your broth, start testing the rice for doneness. I found that I only needed 6 cups of broth for the rice to be done. If you need more and have run out of broth, just use some water.
  7. When you add in your last 1/2 cup of broth, add in the cooked sunchokes and onions as well. Mix everything together, remove from heat, and then stir in the 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and 2 tbsp of vegan butter. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme to taste and serve.

Enjoy!

Until we eat again,

Willie

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