This risotto is pure comfort food for me! The flavors of the vegetables are enhanced by the spices and the millet is perfectly tender and satisfying. I love to cook grains with the risotto method. It is a bit of a labor of love as you add the hot broth and stir and stir and stir…BUT it is worth every last bite! I make this dish quite frequently and change up the vegetables with what I have on hand or what is in season. It is really fun to try different combinations of veggies in this risotto. They all work and add different nutrients to this dish. If you haven’t made risotto before, give it a try! It really is fun to make and delicious to eat!
drizzle of grape seed oil or olive oil (if desired)
1/2 sweet onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large carrot, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
6 medium button mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup millet
6 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup white cooking wine
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped (optional)
Place vegetable broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Wash and peel the carrots. Clean and chop the zucchini and mushrooms. Cut the carrots, zucchini, and mushrooms into small dice, about the same size as the peas. Set up an ice bath. Par-cook the carrots in the cooking liquid. Once the carrots are almost tender, transfer them to the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cool, drain and set aside. Lightly steam the zucchini. Reduce the heat to low to keep the vegetable broth hot. Next, finely dice the onions and garlic. Measure out the millet, and frozen peas. Set everything aside.
Place the oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pan and heat over medium to medium-low heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sweat until soft and translucent, about 10 to 15 minutes. (If not using oil, dry saute the onions and add a bit of vegetable broth to keep them from sticking to the pan) Next, add 1/4 cup of the hot cooking liquid to soften the onions further. Let the cooking liquid completely evaporate before moving onto the next step.
Once the liquid has completely evaporated, turn the heat up to medium-high and add the millet all at once. Stir to coat the millet in the hot oil. Monitor the heat so the onions do not burn. Toast the millet for a few minutes. Once toasted, add the garlic and cook, stirring just until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the cooking wine. Cook until the wine is completely evaporated.
Once the wine has evaporated, slowly add the hot vegetable broth cup by cup. Stir often to coax the starches out of the millet. Adjust the heat so the vegetable broth is always gently boiling. Once the vegetable broth has been absorbed, then and only then, add the next cup. Stir frequently. Continue to add the vegetable broth and cook the risotto until it reaches the al dente stage (or until it is done to your liking). Start tasting the millet for doneness around the 20 minute mark. I like my millet risotto more tender, so 30 minutes is about right for my taste.
Once the risotto has been cooked to your liking, add in the nutritional yeast, oregano, salt and pepper. Next, fold in the cooked carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, and frozen peas. Cover and let rest for 1 to 2 minutes. Just before serving, add a bit of hot liquid to loosen the consistency, if necessary. Plate on warmed dishes and sprinkle with chopped parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.