Vegan Risotto with Black Kale and Pears-the ingredients

Vegan risotto with Black Kale and Pears

    • Prep Time
    • Minutes
    • Cook Time
    • Minutes

AV_POST_00027_Risotto-VEGAN-BLACK-KALE-and-PEARS_INGREDIENTS

Total Cost: UK/£ 6,27*

Cost/portion: UK/£ 1,57*

Aglio Vestito’s contribution to lactose intolerant and vegan diets

A risotto with no butter and no cheese! And they won’t be missed!

This is a recipe I came up with while looking for creating a vegan version of an Italian classic dish such as risotto.

Since I am not vegan, even if I can live without eating any meat for ages, I had to do some researches to understand what the Vegan philosophy does or does not allow to be used in cooking. So it was by pure chance that I found out something quite unexpected: not all wines are suitable for vegetarian and vegan people. Some clarifying techniques require animal derived gelatinous product. But fortunately, there are some brands which care for these kind of issues and make their products acceptable for vegetarian and vegan people. They are sold in almost all the most common shops in United Kingdom, so you just need to read though their labels ,where all these peculiar qualities are surely specified. So this unexpected problem was easily solved: wine is quite an important ingredient to make a good risotto.

But traditional Italian risotto must be served “all’onda”… meaning it must be creamy and billowy. When stirred it must behave exactly like a wave: not too liquid, not too thick. Not an easy result to obtain without any butter nor Parmigiano cheese which are the essential ingredients I always require in my quite pedant “Binding the risotto…” final steps.

Rice is the answer: we can bind the rice with rice flour.

Flour rice is a starch. As any other starch must be diluted in cold water to avoid any lump. As any other starch or flour, rice flour has a thickening power which is activated by heat. Specifically, it give a creamier consistency than, for example, potato starch which tends to create a more jelly-like texture. The advantage of using rice flour is that it gelatinises at 80ºC – much earlier than wheat flour, which needs to reach 92ºC – then it thickens in seconds and it doesn’t confer any extraneous taste to the risotto.

The quantities of rice flour are very little. Experimenting, I found out that 3gr every 100gr of rice are enough, so for 4 portions as in this recipe, 11-12gr will easily do.

Remember: for thickening purposes, wheat flours must be mixed with fats (oil or butter); starches, instead, must be diluted in water. Also, while starch thickens very quickly, flour needs longer time to cook perfectly (deepening on the concentration and on the quantity).

So, here it is my attempt to contribute the vegan and the lactose intolerant diets: a risotto with no butter and no cheese… Believe me: you won’t miss them!

Note for the users: please click on the label “HOW TO” to watch the slide-show of each cooking step.

* Please note that both total cost and cost per portion are approximate and that can vary according to seasons and to different conditions.

As I wrote already in other recipe, an essential step of making a perfect Italian risotto is binding it with butter and cheese before serving it.

Recipe Rating

  • (1 Rating)

Ingredients

  • Rice (arborio)*- 320gr

  • *you can also use other types of rice like carnaroli or vialone nano
  • Vegetable stock** - 1,5lt (see recipe here)

  • **in alternative, 1,5lt of boiling water and one to one and a half stock cubes or gel portions. Melt the cubes or gels in boiling water and sieve before use to clean it from undesired pieces of vegetables. Also reduce the amount of salt that follows.
  • Salt - 8gr

  • Black pepper corns - 2gr

  • Sweet Onion - 150gr

  • Shallot - 100gr

  • "Suited garlic”cloves - 3

  • Black kale leaves - 250gr

  • Extra Vegetable stock, or hot water - 200ml

  • Extra Virgin Ollve Oil - 30gr [part 1 of 3]

  • Salt - to taste

  • Dry White Wine (suitable for vegetarians) - 20ml [part 1 of 2]

  • Extra Virgin Ollve Oil - 40gr [part 2 of 3]

  • Extra Virgin Ollve Oil - 20gr [part 3 of 3]

  • Salt - a pinch

  • Pears - 550gr

  • Dry White Wine (suitable for vegetarians) - 60ml [part 1 of 2]

  • Rice Flour - 11gr

  • Cold water - 30ml

  • Utensils

  • One pestle and mortar

  • One paring knife

  • One sharp chef knife

  • One chopping board

  • Cooking string

  • One large non-stick frying pan

  • One 3-4lt saucepan

  • One 6-8lt saucepan

  • One food processor

  • Kitchen paper

  • One medium frying pan

  • One ladle

  • One small cup

  • One spoon

  • One big wooden spoon or silicone spatula

  • Sterilising fluid for food - (use according to instructions)

Instructions

  • 1.
    Putting the stock to boil and washing the black kale

    • Vegetable stock* - 1,5lt (see recipe here)
    • * in alternative, 1,5lt of boiling water and one to one and a half stock cubes or gel portions. Melt the cubes or gels in boiling water and sieve before use to clean it from undesired pieces of vegetables. Also reduce the amount of salt that follows.

    • Salt **- 8gr
    • **reduce to taste if you are using stock cubes or gel portions.

    • Black kale leaves - 250gr
    • One 3-4lt saucepan
    • Sterilising fluid for food - (use according to instructions)

      Put the vegetable stock to boil and add the 8gr of salt.
      Tear off the black kale leaves from their stalks and cut off their hard ends.
      Clean the sink, fill it with fresh clean water and add the sterilising fluid according to its instructions.
      Bathe the leaves in the sink’s water. Let them rest for about 15 minutes or as long as the instructions say to be enough. Move them gently from time to time, so the dirt will fall on the bottom.
      Then, move the black kale into a large bowl, drain the dirty water, clean the sink and put the black kale back in. Fill the sink again with fresh water and rinse the leaves one last time.

  • 2.
    Preparing the frying base and the black kale

    • The washed black kale
    • Black pepper corns - 2gr
    • Sweet Onion - 150gr
    • Shallot - 100gr
    • Suited garlic - 3 cloves
    • Extra Virgin Ollve Oil - 30gr [part 1 of 2]
    • One pestle and mortar
    • One paring knife
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One chopping board
    • Cooking string
    • One large non-stick frying pan

      While the black kale is soaking, crush the black pepper into the mortar and set aside. with the paring knife, cut off the onion’s and shallot’s tips and clean their roots. Halve them longwise and peel off their tunics. Then finely cut them into a brunoise. Set aside.
      Take the black kale out of the water and shake it gently to get rid of the excess of washing water. Put each leaf flat on the chopping board and, with the paring knife, cut off their ribs (step 2 - pic. A). Keep them all aside: their tender ends will be chopped with the leaves, the rest will flavour the rice while boiling.
      Put the large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat with 30gr of extra virgin olive oil and 3 cloves of “suited garlic”.
      Half the black kale ribs across. Tie up together the thicker halves with some cooking string and set aside. Finely mince the other ends and add them to the frying oil and garlic (step 2 - pic. B).

      Note about cutting the onion/shallot into brunoise

      With a paring knife, chop off the tip of the onion. Clean the roots, halve it and peel off the tunics. Put each half facing down on a chopping board. With either the paring knife or the tip of the chef knife, make vertical cuts - 2millimeters apart from each other - driving the tip of the knife as close to the roots as possible. Hold the onion together with one hand’s fingers, get the chef knife and with a fulcrum movement complete the mincing with narrow cuts.

  • 3.
    Cooking the black kale and frying the base for both risotto and pears

    • The black kale leaves
    • Extra Vegetable stock, or hot water - 200ml
    • Extra Virgin Ollve Oil - 40gr [part 2 of 3]
    • The minced shallot and onion - 2/3 of it
    • The bunch of black kale ribs
    • Dry White Wine (suitable for vegetarians) - 20ml [part 1 of 2]
    • Extra Virgin Ollve Oil - 20gr [part 2 of 3]
    • The minced shallot and onion - 2/3 of it
    • Salt - to taste
    • Black pepper - to taste
    • One large non-stick frying pan
    • One 6-8lt saucepan
    • One big wooden spoon or silicone spatula
    • One food processor
    • Kitchen paper

      Roughly chop the black kale leaves with the chef knife and add them to the chopped ribs, oil and garlic.
      Stir evenly and gradually add about 200ml of vegetable stock or hot water. Let the leaves tenderise for about 8 minutes, adding more water if they get too dry (step 3 - pic. A).
      Meanwhile, put the large saucepan on a medium heat with 40gr of extra virgin olive oil, 2/3 of the onion and shallot brunoise, the bunch of black kale ribs. Let the mixture gain temperature, season to taste with salt and pepper, and when the base has turned golden, add 20ml of dry white wine. Keep stirring from time to time and let the wine reduce completely.
      When tender, season the black kale leaves with salt and pepper according to your taste, then take them out of the pan and move them into the food processor.
      Quickly wipe off the non-stick frying pan with a sheet of kitchen paper.
      Add the 20gr of extra virgin olive oil (part 3 of 3), the remaining brunoise of onion and shallot and put it on a medium heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper (step 3 - pic. B).

  • 4.
    Processing the black kale and frying the pears

    • Pears - 550gr
    • The cooked black kale leaves
    • The two frying bases
    • Salt - to taste
    • One food processor
    • One paring knife
    • One chopping board
    • One large non-stick frying pan
    • One big wooden spoon or silicone spatula

      With a paring knife, peel the pears, separate their cores and roughly dice them into quite large pieces. Add the to the frying brunoise into the large frying pan and set the power to the maximum. Keep stirring and tossing them (step 4 - pic. A).
      Process the black kale leaves into a quite smooth mixture and add it to the frying base for the risotto. Stir evenly and lower the heat under the saucepan to a minimum power (step 4 - pic. B).
      When the pears are cooked, but still firm and “al dente”, take them off the heat and set them aside.

  • 5.
    Toasting the rice (dry method) and adding it to the black kale base

    • Rice (arborio)* - 320gr
    • *you can also use other type of rice like carnaroli or vialone nano.

    • Dry white wine (suitable for vegetarians) - 60ml (part 2 of 2)

    • One frying pan
    • One wooden spoon or silicon spatula

      While the black kale and its fried base are gently simmering (add some hot water or stock if necessary), start toasting the rice.
      Toasting the rice is absolutely essential for a good and appropriate final result. If its grain would not be going through this process, instead of a risotto, you would be serving a mushy sticky soup. The exposure of each single rice grain to direct heat will seal its pores. During the cooking, the starches will be held back inside the grains which will be maintained whole. This dry method is the more appropriate for this kind of risotto: since the main flavouring ingredient contains a lot of liquid, it would not be able to seal the grains. But rice can also be toasted in a fat with the a frying flavouring base.
      Spread the rice evenly in the nonstick frying pan and put it on medium-high heat. Keep stirring and tossing the rice so that all its grains will gradually gain a distinctive pearl-white colour in the centre and slightly translucent edges. When ready, the grains will start resisting the stirring lightly and they will make a tingling noise hitting the pan’s sides.
      Now, add the wine all at once and stir so it wets the rice evenly (step 5 - pic. A). Keep stirring while the wine reduces, but do not let it dry completely. Since the rice must keep it’s white colour during all this toasting process, consider to reduce the heat under the pan.
      Immediately add the rice to the saucepan with the black kale mixture and stir evenly (step 3 - pic. B).

  • 6.
    Cooking the rice and adding part of the pears

    • The boiling vegetable stock - 1,5ml
    • Extra vegetable stock - any that is left
    • The rice and black kale mixture
    • Salt - to taste
    • The cooked pears - 1/2 to be added to the cooking risotto
    • The cooked pears - 1/2 to be chopped for next step
    • One ladle
    • One chef knife
    • One chopping board
    • One big wooden spoon or silicone spatula

      Make sure the stock is boiling intensely and let the mixture cook for a minute (20 seconds each 100gr of rice) so the aromas will sink into the rice grains and the wine will evaporate completely.
      With the heat set on low power, pour in about three ladles of stock, so this will barely cover the rice (step 6 - pic. A). Let it gain the boiling again stirring continuously, while the rice grains gradually absorb the liquids.
      
Keep adding stock ladle by ladle, making the rice absorb it each time (the stock must be kept boiling, otherwise it will drop the temperature of the mixture and block the cooking). Carefully increase the heat gradually.
      
Depending on the type of rice you are using, the cooking will take from 15 to 18 minutes and you will end up with a creamy but steady mixture.
      After about ten minutes of cooking, add half of the pears and mince the other half into smaller pieces: they will be added to the risotto just before serving it.
      
Check if the rice is cooked: it must be “al dente”. Which means that the grains have to be cooked right to their core, but they still can put up resistance to your chewing. If it tastes still raw and it is too crunchy, carefully add some more stock (from the 200ml extra dose).
      
Check the seasoning, correct the salt if necessary and stir (step 6 - pic. B).

  • 7.
    Binding the rice with the thickening and the remaining pears

    • The cooking risotto
    • The minced pears
    • Rice Flour - 11gr
    • Cold water - 30ml
    • Black pepper - to taste
    • One small cup
    • One spoon
    • One big wooden spoon or silicone spatula

      One minute before the risotto finishes cooking, mix the 11gr of rice flour and the cold water into a cup. With the heat set on a full power, add the liquid mixture to the risotto and stir continuously to prevent it sticking to the bottom (step 7 - pic. A).
      Rice flour is a starch, and as other types of starch, can be used as a thickening agent in alternative to wheat flour, or as in this case, as an alternative to butter. Rice flour has the advantage to gelatinise already at 80ºC, instead of 92ºC like wheat flour, so it will take no more than a minute to bind the yet loose mixture of the risotto.
      As soon as the mixture gains consistency, becoming creamy and billowy - or “all’onda” as we call it in Italian - add the diced pear and sprinkle some pepper according to your taste. Stir again evenly, then allow it to rest for no more than one minute and then serve it (step 7 - pic. B).

Instructions

  • 1.
    Putting the stock to boil and washing the black kale

    • Vegetable stock* - 1,5lt (see recipe here)
    • * in alternative, 1,5lt of boiling water and one to one and a half stock cubes or gel portions. Melt the cubes or gels in boiling water and sieve before use to clean it from undesired pieces of vegetables. Also reduce the amount of salt that follows.

    • Salt **- 8gr
    • **reduce to taste if you are using stock cubes or gel portions.

    • Black kale leaves - 250gr
    • One 3-4lt saucepan
    • Sterilising fluid for food - (use according to instructions)

      Put the vegetable stock to boil and add the 8gr of salt.
      Tear off the black kale leaves from their stalks and cut off their hard ends.
      Clean the sink, fill it with fresh clean water and add the sterilising fluid according to its instructions.
      Bathe the leaves in the sink’s water. Let them rest for about 15 minutes or as long as the instructions say to be enough. Move them gently from time to time, so the dirt will fall on the bottom.
      Then, move the black kale into a large bowl, drain the dirty water, clean the sink and put the black kale back in. Fill the sink again with fresh water and rinse the leaves one last time.

  • 2.
    Preparing the frying base and the black kale

    • The washed black kale
    • Black pepper corns - 2gr
    • Sweet Onion - 150gr
    • Shallot - 100gr
    • Suited garlic - 3 cloves
    • Extra Virgin Ollve Oil - 30gr [part 1 of 2]
    • One pestle and mortar
    • One paring knife
    • One sharp chef knife
    • One chopping board
    • Cooking string
    • One large non-stick frying pan

      While the black kale is soaking, crush the black pepper into the mortar and set aside. with the paring knife, cut off the onion’s and shallot’s tips and clean their roots. Halve them longwise and peel off their tunics. Then finely cut them into a brunoise. Set aside.
      Take the black kale out of the water and shake it gently to get rid of the excess of washing water. Put each leaf flat on the chopping board and, with the paring knife, cut off their ribs (step 2 - pic. A). Keep them all aside: their tender ends will be chopped with the leaves, the rest will flavour the rice while boiling.
      Put the large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat with 30gr of extra virgin olive oil and 3 cloves of “suited garlic”.
      Half the black kale ribs across. Tie up together the thicker halves with some cooking string and set aside. Finely mince the other ends and add them to the frying oil and garlic (step 2 - pic. B).

      Note about cutting the onion/shallot into brunoise

      With a paring knife, chop off the tip of the onion. Clean the roots, halve it and peel off the tunics. Put each half facing down on a chopping board. With either the paring knife or the tip of the chef knife, make vertical cuts - 2millimeters apart from each other - driving the tip of the knife as close to the roots as possible. Hold the onion together with one hand’s fingers, get the chef knife and with a fulcrum movement complete the mincing with narrow cuts.

  • 3.
    Cooking the black kale and frying the base for both risotto and pears

    • The black kale leaves
    • Extra Vegetable stock, or hot water - 200ml
    • Extra Virgin Ollve Oil - 40gr [part 2 of 3]
    • The minced shallot and onion - 2/3 of it
    • The bunch of black kale ribs
    • Dry White Wine (suitable for vegetarians) - 20ml [part 1 of 2]
    • Extra Virgin Ollve Oil - 20gr [part 2 of 3]
    • The minced shallot and onion - 2/3 of it
    • Salt - to taste
    • Black pepper - to taste
    • One large non-stick frying pan
    • One 6-8lt saucepan
    • One big wooden spoon or silicone spatula
    • One food processor
    • Kitchen paper

      Roughly chop the black kale leaves with the chef knife and add them to the chopped ribs, oil and garlic.
      Stir evenly and gradually add about 200ml of vegetable stock or hot water. Let the leaves tenderise for about 8 minutes, adding more water if they get too dry (step 3 - pic. A).
      Meanwhile, put the large saucepan on a medium heat with 40gr of extra virgin olive oil, 2/3 of the onion and shallot brunoise, the bunch of black kale ribs. Let the mixture gain temperature, season to taste with salt and pepper, and when the base has turned golden, add 20ml of dry white wine. Keep stirring from time to time and let the wine reduce completely.
      When tender, season the black kale leaves with salt and pepper according to your taste, then take them out of the pan and move them into the food processor.
      Quickly wipe off the non-stick frying pan with a sheet of kitchen paper.
      Add the 20gr of extra virgin olive oil (part 3 of 3), the remaining brunoise of onion and shallot and put it on a medium heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper (step 3 - pic. B).

  • 4.
    Processing the black kale and frying the pears

    • Pears - 550gr
    • The cooked black kale leaves
    • The two frying bases
    • Salt - to taste
    • One food processor
    • One paring knife
    • One chopping board
    • One large non-stick frying pan
    • One big wooden spoon or silicone spatula

      With a paring knife, peel the pears, separate their cores and roughly dice them into quite large pieces. Add the to the frying brunoise into the large frying pan and set the power to the maximum. Keep stirring and tossing them (step 4 - pic. A).
      Process the black kale leaves into a quite smooth mixture and add it to the frying base for the risotto. Stir evenly and lower the heat under the saucepan to a minimum power (step 4 - pic. B).
      When the pears are cooked, but still firm and “al dente”, take them off the heat and set them aside.

  • 5.
    Toasting the rice (dry method) and adding it to the black kale base

    • Rice (arborio)* - 320gr
    • *you can also use other type of rice like carnaroli or vialone nano.

    • Dry white wine (suitable for vegetarians) - 60ml (part 2 of 2)

    • One frying pan
    • One wooden spoon or silicon spatula

      While the black kale and its fried base are gently simmering (add some hot water or stock if necessary), start toasting the rice.
      Toasting the rice is absolutely essential for a good and appropriate final result. If its grain would not be going through this process, instead of a risotto, you would be serving a mushy sticky soup. The exposure of each single rice grain to direct heat will seal its pores. During the cooking, the starches will be held back inside the grains which will be maintained whole. This dry method is the more appropriate for this kind of risotto: since the main flavouring ingredient contains a lot of liquid, it would not be able to seal the grains. But rice can also be toasted in a fat with the a frying flavouring base.
      Spread the rice evenly in the nonstick frying pan and put it on medium-high heat. Keep stirring and tossing the rice so that all its grains will gradually gain a distinctive pearl-white colour in the centre and slightly translucent edges. When ready, the grains will start resisting the stirring lightly and they will make a tingling noise hitting the pan’s sides.
      Now, add the wine all at once and stir so it wets the rice evenly (step 5 - pic. A). Keep stirring while the wine reduces, but do not let it dry completely. Since the rice must keep it’s white colour during all this toasting process, consider to reduce the heat under the pan.
      Immediately add the rice to the saucepan with the black kale mixture and stir evenly (step 3 - pic. B).

  • 6.
    Cooking the rice and adding part of the pears

    • The boiling vegetable stock - 1,5ml
    • Extra vegetable stock - any that is left
    • The rice and black kale mixture
    • Salt - to taste
    • The cooked pears - 1/2 to be added to the cooking risotto
    • The cooked pears - 1/2 to be chopped for next step
    • One ladle
    • One chef knife
    • One chopping board
    • One big wooden spoon or silicone spatula

      Make sure the stock is boiling intensely and let the mixture cook for a minute (20 seconds each 100gr of rice) so the aromas will sink into the rice grains and the wine will evaporate completely.
      With the heat set on low power, pour in about three ladles of stock, so this will barely cover the rice (step 6 - pic. A). Let it gain the boiling again stirring continuously, while the rice grains gradually absorb the liquids.
      
Keep adding stock ladle by ladle, making the rice absorb it each time (the stock must be kept boiling, otherwise it will drop the temperature of the mixture and block the cooking). Carefully increase the heat gradually.
      
Depending on the type of rice you are using, the cooking will take from 15 to 18 minutes and you will end up with a creamy but steady mixture.
      After about ten minutes of cooking, add half of the pears and mince the other half into smaller pieces: they will be added to the risotto just before serving it.
      
Check if the rice is cooked: it must be “al dente”. Which means that the grains have to be cooked right to their core, but they still can put up resistance to your chewing. If it tastes still raw and it is too crunchy, carefully add some more stock (from the 200ml extra dose).
      
Check the seasoning, correct the salt if necessary and stir (step 6 - pic. B).

  • 7.
    Binding the rice with the thickening and the remaining pears

    • The cooking risotto
    • The minced pears
    • Rice Flour - 11gr
    • Cold water - 30ml
    • Black pepper - to taste
    • One small cup
    • One spoon
    • One big wooden spoon or silicone spatula

      One minute before the risotto finishes cooking, mix the 11gr of rice flour and the cold water into a cup. With the heat set on a full power, add the liquid mixture to the risotto and stir continuously to prevent it sticking to the bottom (step 7 - pic. A).
      Rice flour is a starch, and as other types of starch, can be used as a thickening agent in alternative to wheat flour, or as in this case, as an alternative to butter. Rice flour has the advantage to gelatinise already at 80ºC, instead of 92ºC like wheat flour, so it will take no more than a minute to bind the yet loose mixture of the risotto.
      As soon as the mixture gains consistency, becoming creamy and billowy - or “all’onda” as we call it in Italian - add the diced pear and sprinkle some pepper according to your taste. Stir again evenly, then allow it to rest for no more than one minute and then serve it (step 7 - pic. B).

Rate this recipe

Vegan Risotto with Black Kale and Pears-the ingredients
  • 1 People Rated This Recipe

  • Average Rating

    (5 / 5)

No comments yet.

Hi Reader, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

Be Social

Related Posts

  • Servings : 4
  • Cook Time : 18 Min
Ruby-red risotto with Pomegranate - Risotto alla Melagrana
  • Servings : 3
  • Cook Time : 15 Min
  • Servings : 3
  • Cook Time : 11 Min
  • Servings : 4
  • Cook Time : 20 Min
  • Servings : 4
  • Cook Time : 20 Min
  • Yield : 2,5lt
  • Servings : 4 to 6
  • Cook Time : 90 Min
  • Servings : 3
  • Cook Time : 10 Min
  • Servings : 3
  • Cook Time : 10 Min
Linguine with Summer Pesto recipe