If you’ve ever had Chicken Piccata, you understand my love for it. But since going vegetarian, I’ve had to find ways to get the flavor without the carnage. My first victory was making Tofu Piccata. Glorious though it is, it has become too greasy for me to stomach. I came up with the following recipe as the next evolution; it’s a wild rice pilaf that borders on risotto with that quintessential lemon butter flavor. The measurements are all approximate; taste often and adjust as necessary. Happy cooking!
- 1 white onion
- 12 oz asparagus
- 16 oz wild rice
- butter (or substitute for vegan)
- 2c vegetable broth
- 3/4c lemon juice
- sea salt
- black pepper
- 1 bottle crisp white wine (like a pinot grigio)
- more wine for drinking
- fresh parsley
Chop the onion; set aside. Trim bottoms of asparagus and cut into thirds; set aside. Finely chop the parsley; (surprise!) set aside for garnish.
Melt butter (2-3 tablespoons) into a large skillet over med-hi heat. Add wild rice and saute until rice has begun to cook and crisp a little. (Think Rice-a-Roni, but without all the MSG and preservatives.) Once rice is sufficiently browned, add a heavy splash of white wine to the pan and watch it sizzle. Neat!
Next, add the lemon juice, veggie broth, and ½ tsp salt; stir well. Bring to a simmer; cover and reduce heat to medium. Now for the annoying part: stir the rice every 5ish minutes, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. When the mixture has absorbed most of the liquid, add enough wine to cover rice. Stir every 5ish minutes, and repeat until all of the wine (yup, the whole bottle) is absorbed, about 50 minutes.
After adding the last of the wine to the rice, melt 2-3 tbsp butter in a separate skillet on med-hi. Saute the onions for about 5 minutes, so that they’re partially cooked but still a little crisp. Add the asparagus and a sprinkle of salt and pepper; cook until the asparagus is bright green and begins to shrink just a little.
At this point, try the rice for desired level of salt and done-ness. If needed, add more veggie broth and/or lemon juice until desired flavor and consistency is reached. Plate while lava-hot, top with chopped parsley, serve with a glass of chilled white wine, and enjoy!