We are cooking in the kitchen with the band, Chasing Ebenezer. Compared to the Dave Matthews Band and Ben Harper, the members of this soul-searching, tribal, funk-rock band are also hearty vegetarians! We talk about the music, the veggies and listen to their compelling stories of being vegetarian for sustainability and the environment.
On today’s menu, we have a delicious Farmer’s Market Risotto and Cold Bean Salad. Listen to this fun interview and live performance, featuring band members Ben and Heidi Beth Sadler, Ryan Souders and Bryan Atkinson. Thanks for listening to Marti’s Music Kitchen, the Fun Food and Music Podcast Where Anything Can Happen!
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Heidi’s Farmers Market Risotto & Lemon Bean Salad (Inspired by Farmer Nate from the Slice of Heaven Farm)
Approximate cook time: 45-50 minutes, 6 servings
• Drizzle of olive oil
• 2 tbsp of diced garlic
• 1 finely diced onion
• 1 ½ cups of rinsed arborio rice
• 2 cups of stock (veggie or chicken, depending on your preference)
• approximately 4-6 cups of water (this varies based on risotto cook time)
• Optional: 1/3 cup of white wine
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Fresh Vegetables to sprinkle over/add after the risotto is fully cooked (Today I’m using a handful of freshly chopped basil, cherry tomatoes, and several handfuls of chopped greens (collard, kale, or spinach).
Step 1: Thoroughly sauté the onion and the garlic in a large pan with a lip of 1 inch or more, as the rice will expand several times over throughout the cooking process.
Step 2: Once the onion and garlic are cooked, add the rice and lightly warm it before adding in the liquid (cook at medium/medium high, depending on your stove).
Step 3: Over the next 45 minutes, gradually add in the stock and the water, as well as the optional white wine. Stir the risotto every minute or so. The key to all this is patience. You want the risotto to be creamy but not mushy*. The nice thing is that in between stirring, you can prep your veggies and the lemon bean salad.
Step 4: After 45 minutes or so, your risotto should be ready to season. Add salt and pepper to taste. You can always add more olive oil or more white wine, depending on your flavor preference.
Step 5: After the risotto is fully cooked and creamy, stir in in the greens and lightly wilt them, then remove the risotto from heat.
Step 6: Serve the risotto on plates or in shallow bowls. Sprinkle the other veggies on top (cheese could be added for a richer, non-vegan version).
Serve with my lemon bean salad (see below). *Visit bonappetit.com for risotto cooking tips.
Heidi’s Lemon Bean Salad
For the salad combine the following ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl:
• 2 cups of fully cooked, cooled beans (chickpea, butter, navy, or kidney)
• 2 cups of cooked, cooled corn (sweet corn is best)
• 1 generous handful of chopped chives or green onions
• salt and pepper
• the juice of one lemon (add the zest if you want an extra lemony salad)
• 1 tbs. of red wine vinegar
• 1/8 cup of olive oil, or a light oil of your choice
• Optional: a drizzle of light agave nectar if you desire a sweeter salad
Taste your dressing first, then combine it with the bean mixture.
Let these marinate in the fridge, as this salad is best when it has had time for the flavors to mingle. After it has cooled, taste and add additional salt if needed.