The moment I saw a recipe for Quinoa & White Bean Risotto on Love and Lemons — adapted in turn from The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright — I knew I had to try it. A brilliantly simple way to enjoy some of my favorite wholesome foods in a delightful new form. Ridiculously easy to put together, and certainly didn’t disappoint in texture or flavor.
A couple confessions. This isn’t actually a risotto, slowly simmered and carefully stirred and tended. It’s a “cheat” for the busy and lazy among us. I can’t recall ever eating a “real” risotto, so I can’t speak to how closely this dish resembles the traditional preparation. All I can say is that it is creamy, hearty, healthy, delicious, and hard to stop devouring by the bowlful!
Final confession: As usual, I couldn’t help but play with the recipe some, and didn’t measure much of anything, but I have done my best to approximate below. It would have been delightful with more fresh herbs. I couldn’t convince myself to venture out into the rain to harvest any tonight, but at least I had a big bunch of cilantro in the fridge. Feel free to toss in any of your favorite herbs! And, of course, to swap out the veggies for whatever you have in season.
Quinoa & White Bean Risotto with Roasted Veggies
A couple cups chopped broccoli (small side shoots are perfect for this!)
Three small summer squash, finely chopped
A few tablespoons of olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
About 2-3 cups cooked quinoa (cooked in stock, ideally)
2 cups cooked beans
About 1 cup vegetable stock, or another liquid if necessary
A teaspoon or two of lemon juice, to taste
A teaspoon or two of nutritional yeast (optional)
Fresh thyme, basil, sage, oregano, or whatever favorite herbs you have at hand (optional)
1 large bunch cilantro or parsley, minced (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread broccoli and squash in a baking pan and coat with a little oil, then roast for about 10 minutes. Stir veggies, mix garlic into the squash and return to oven for another 10 minutes or so. While veggies are roasting, blend together white beans, about half a cup of nutritional yeast, lemon juice, half the cilantro or parsley and any other herbs, and a little salt and pepper. Stir into quinoa, adding additional stock as needed until creamy. Serve in bowls, topped with roasted veggies and remaining cilantro or parsley. Adjust seasonings to taste and enjoy warm. (But if it’s hot out and you can’t be bothered to reheat the leftovers, it’s also pretty great right out of the fridge!)