I've got a vegan coming to dinner Christmas night (heaven forfend! And he drives a BMW, with leather seats, gadzooks!) But mine is not to question, mine is to supply chow.
For starters, I'm thinking of porcini risotto. I have wonderful vegetarian porcini stock cubes from Italy, so that takes care of my liquid. I'll use olive oil instead of butter (gasp). And I will pass some grated parmigiano around for my fellows of the non-vegan persuasion.
My question is, anyone got any other suggestions for making this an acceptable, if not an outstanding, risotto?
Little bit of lemon juice to bring out the flavour of the mushrooms. Lemon seems to make mushrooms mushroomier somehow. Depending on how you are serving you could serve with lemon zest as the garnish. (That is if you can actually use one of those zester things - I just seems to get mush rather than nice pretty strings!) Or if you have fresh porcini you could fry a couple of nice slices from the middle of the mushrooms so that they get a little brown and use them.
I like my porcini ravioli with a sage beurre noisette, I wonder if there's some way of having a little nutty note without using butter hmm...
Even if you don't use them in the risotto itself, you could brown some button mushrooms in olive oil and add some chopped onion - the object would be to get some great brown fond in the pan to deglaze into your cooking liquid.
Also, I like thyme and sage and scallions with mushrooms - you could add fresh thyme leaves and ribbons of sage and chopped scallion tops just at the end...
and ditto on the lemon, ali patts.
With wild mushrooms, I prefer thyme and rosemery to sage for the herb component.
Great of you to accomadate your friend. Sounds like it will turn out delicious.
Thanks, all. I like all of these suggestions, particularly the lemon zest.
I will pass around parmiggiano for the non-vegans at the table.