Monthly Archives: November 2015

Autumn comfort food – mushroom and chestnut risotto

It’s autumn and we’re starting to feel the bite here in Yorkshire. November has well and truly kicked in after a mild September and October, so it’s time for some proper stick-to-your-ribs home comfort food.

I love risotto. I know a lot of coeliacs, vegetarians and vegans say they hate it, because it’s always the default gluten-free or meat-free option in restaurants and they never get to eat anything else, but if a risotto is made well and has good flavour then I love the stuff. OK, it’s kind of a pain to cook because you can’t leave it for a second, but that’s why it’s rewarding. You know you’ve been cooking when you’ve made one.

This risotto is full of autumn flavours of mushrooms and chestnuts and has truffle and garlic for that little bit of indulgence – I’ve kept it plant-based, so it’s suitable for vegetarians and contains no animal products that I’m aware of (I’m hesitant to say vegan, because calling something vegan inevitably gets you into a debate about whether one of your ingredients is vegan or not and I’ve used truffles here, which I’m aware are controversial).

Mushroom and Chestnut Risotto



1 large banana shallot (or two smaller ones)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup roughly chopped shiitake mushrooms (or you could use a wild mushroom mix if you prefer)

2 cups finely chopped chestnut or portabella mushrooms

1 cup chestnuts, roughly chopped

1 cup risotto rice (I used carnaroli)

2 pints vegetable stock

1/3 cup dry sherry

salt and pepper to taste

To stir through at the end:

2 tsp Salsa Truffina mushroom and truffle sauce (or you could use porcini mushroom paste if you can’t find this or don’t like truffle)

2 tbsp vegan cream cheese  (I like Violife or Tofutti cream cheese style spread – Violife is available in most larger Tesco stores)

chopped parsley and garlic flavoured oil to garnish



Heat half the oil in the pan and fry the the chopped shiitake mushrooms and chestnuts for 2 minutes.

Add crushed garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper and finely chopped chestnut mushrooms. Stir fry until soft. Set aside.

Add the rest of the oil to the pan and fry the chopped shallots until translucent. Add the rice and ensure the rice is coated in the oil, stirring for around 1-2 mins.

Add the sherry and stir well, ensuring the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. It’s now ready to begin adding the stock, one ladleful at a time. Keep stirring the rice so the starch begins to break down and add more stock once the rice has absorbed the liquid, but before the rice gets to the stage of starting to stick. This will take about 25-30 mins.

Add the mushroom and chestnut mixture and stir through well. Taste the risotto and add seasoning if required.


Stir through the Salsa Truffina and vegan cream cheese (tip: get the cream cheese out of the fridge around 15 mins before you need it so it blends into the risotto more easily)

Serve with a drizzle of garlic-flavoured oil (I used Yorkshire Drizzle‘s garlic extra virgin rapeseed oil) and a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley.

Easy, naturally gluten free and packed with flavour!





Got the “gluten-free Latimers” coming at Christmas? Tesco to the rescue….

Well, this year Tesco advertised their Christmas range of gluten free products on TV for the first time ever. I’ll give them some marks for trying, but having the “gluten free Latimers” round sounds about as much fun as having Gwyneth Paltrow at your Christmas party table. Continue reading