(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)
Take the Country Crock Plant Butter out of the fridge to soften. When it has softened, place it in small bowl and add the miso paste. Using a fork, cream them together until well combined. You will need to add this to the cooked mushrooms (see Step #4).
Add the vegetable broth to a saucepan. Once it comes to a simmer, keep the broth warm over low heat.
Heat a large frying pan or a Dutch oven over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Once hot, add HALF of the diced leeks and HALF of the garlic, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the sliced mushrooms, thyme, and bay leaves. Cook for 4-6 minutes or until the mushrooms are lightly browned and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the miso butter to the pan and stir into the mushrooms, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper; cook for 2 more minutes. Turn of the heat and set the pan aside.
(If you were using a Dutch oven, clean/wipe it out and return it to the stove.)
Heat a large nonstick saucepan or the same Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once hot, add the remaining diced leeks and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the arborio rice and stir quickly until all of the rice grains are well-coated and opaque, and the rice smells slightly toasty - just 1 minute. Pour in the white wine, and stir to scrape any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot,
cooking until the wine is nearly all evaporated and the smell of alcohol has dissipated, about 3-5 min.
Ladle in 1 cup of the warm vegetable broth and stir frequently until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time, continuing to cook and stir often, allowing the rice to absorb each round of broth before adding more (you may not need to use all of the broth). The risotto should be slightly firm and creamy, but not too soft or mushy.
NOTE: You want to stir often, but not constantly.
NOTE: Adjust the heat as needed to maintain a medium simmer throughout cooking.
To test for doneness, you can smush the rice on a flat surface with your finger. It should be fairly smooth but you should still be able to see a bit of the white, al dente center of the rice.
Transfer the cooked miso butter mushroom mixture to the risotto, and stir to warm through for a few minutes. Remove from the heat, and then stir in vegan Parmesan cheese if using. Taste for seasonings - you may need to add a bit of salt. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Recipe by Nisha Vora @rainbowplantlife
* Any mild (i.e.,white or yellow) miso paste will do. My favorite brand is Miso Master.
** You may be able to use less olive oil if you’re using a goodquality nonstick pan.
*** You can use any variety of mushrooms. I used a combination of cremini (brown button) mushrooms, shiitake, oyster, and chanterelle (my absolute FAVORITE).
**** If you do not cook with alcohol or don’t want to use wine, just skip this step and move onto the step where you start adding the vegetable broth. If you want a bit of the acidity that the wine brings, squeeze in a a bit of lemon juice when you stir in the broth.