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Dairy free risotto

(27 Posts)
puffinpants Tue 02-Aug-16 21:08:29

I usually make this by just missing out the Parmesan and anything else with dairy in it ... But wondering if anyone has ever made a really good, or even just ok, dairy free version. It's just not the same as I remember from the days when I could eat dairy

YelloDraw Tue 02-Aug-16 21:59:02

I never use dairy in my risotto.

I do like a bit of chilli oil over it, especially if it's butternut squash risotto.

Wondermoomin Tue 02-Aug-16 22:02:57

I don't use dairy in mine. Heat some oil, soften some onion in it and coat the risotto rice in it, add a glass of white wine if you want, start ladling the stock in and stirring. Once cooked, take off the heat and add in some torn up spinach leaves. Really delicious and healthy.

ChickyDuck Sat 06-Aug-16 19:01:31

Traditionally seafood risotto doesn't have any cheese in!

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 07-Aug-16 17:09:36

Can you tolerate Pecorino? It's made with sheets milk and is the only cheese I've ever been OK with.

Pagwatch Sun 07-Aug-16 17:11:46

We are dairy free and eat risotto all the time. We just don't add cheese. It mostly doesn't need dairy does it?

CatherineDeB Sun 07-Aug-16 17:16:33

I add this to risotto.

This is the only DF cheese I find palatable - have tried them all including Vegusto which I didn't like at all.

I cut it into quarters and freeze it as it does go mouldy fairly quickly once opened.

eurochick Sun 07-Aug-16 17:19:40

Risotto is one of the few creamy tasting things that doesn't have any dairy in it. Are you using risotto rice and stirring lots? I'm dairy intolerant and we make lovely sticky risottos without dairy.

geekaMaxima Sun 07-Aug-16 17:22:56

Well traditional Italian risotto would have Parmesan in it, and imho risotto just isn't as good without it as it adds loads of umami and depth. You might be able to add umami in other ways so the parmesan's absence is less obvious (also add more olive oil to compensate richness). Cooked-down mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, or a truly excellent home-made chicken or meat stock that's in a jelly when cold, are all pretty umami-packed and worth a shot.

Unless it's a seafood risotto, which as pp said doesn't have parmesan. So you could just stick with that! smile

LifeIsGoodish Sun 07-Aug-16 17:25:42

My risotto is always DF. Are you using proper risotto rice? Arborio or Carnaroli, the pudding rice will do, too. Fry in oil first, then cook slowly, adding hot liquid as necessary, rather than all at once.

If you want to add creamy richness (though not cheese-taste) stir in a spoonful of Helmans Mayo towards the end of cooking. The full fat one is DF.

Nutritional yeast adds a certain cheese-taste.

Pagwatch Sun 07-Aug-16 17:27:46

We make chicken risotto and it doesn't need it.

Telling someone who is dairy free that it's just not the same so stick to seafood or forget it isn't that helpful.

Once you are dairy free the idea of something being impossible without Parmesan becomes redundant.
Most risottos taste fine without. We make chicken risotto regularly and it's lovely. I don't add oil. Add plenty of wine though - that probably helps smile

JedRambosteen Sun 07-Aug-16 17:36:09

Geeka is right about umami. We used dried porcini to get the depth of flavour if we're not using parmesan. Pour boiled water onto them to steep. Then fish them out of the water and chop into the risotto. Strain the porcini liquor to remove bits & use as stock for the risotto. Alternatively, Sainsburys sell finely chopped dried porcini that we just chuck straight in & add some water.

LifeIsGoodish Sun 07-Aug-16 17:40:15

Yes, I'd forgotten about mushroom-umami. Umami paste is very useful for that depth of flavour. I also use porcini powder, but it's too easy to use too much of it - which can turn any risotto into a weirdly mushroomy one!

geekaMaxima Sun 07-Aug-16 17:43:38

Pagwatch I agreed with the OP, who said she finds risotto not the same without parmesan. If you've only ever made it without parmesan, you won't get what the OP is missing, so it's not that helpful to say you just don't need it.

I think it's the umami depth and fatty richness from the parmesan that I miss in dairy-free risottos, hence the suggestions to compensate with other umami-heavy foods plus a dash more olive oil.

If that sounds like too much faff, then yes - there are always seafood risottos that have nothing to compensate!

faintlyoptimistic Sun 07-Aug-16 17:51:10

When we were dairy free I always added black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice at the end. Chilli flakes sometimes too.

wheatchief Sun 07-Aug-16 17:59:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pagwatch Sun 07-Aug-16 19:07:13


Sure. I wasn't trying to annoy you - I just think when you are trying dairy free you can get quite disheartened if you are endlessly told things will never be quite as good. It's entirely possible that that just me smile

I'm 54. I've only been dairy free about a year although my DC are intolerant so I've been cooking dairy free for about 25 years. I do know what risotto with dairy tastes like. I still think it's quite easy to make a risotto that tastes brilliant without angst.
( I'm also allergic to seafood grin)

geekaMaxima Sun 07-Aug-16 19:32:39

'Salright Pagwatch smile I just don't like an OP being told a problem doesn't exist when it does!

I had to go dairy-free for a very short time once to investigate a possible dairy allergy in ebf DS. I basically abandoned many foods rather than try to find substitutes as the clear difference (to me) was quite disheartening. I ended up enjoying lots of southern Italian food (olive oil, fish, anchovies, meats, lemons, grilled and roasted vegetables) in place of my usual northern Italian recipes laden with butter and many types of cheese.

So dairy free was every bit as good, definitely, but different food (for me). It was the lazy way out as it was easier than looking for substitutes grin

Pagwatch Mon 08-Aug-16 07:37:52

I know what you mean - trying to find a perfect match for much loved foods can be so disappointing.
I now pretty much avoid bread because I'm gluten free. There are some versions which are ok but everything feels like a slightly poor relation whereas cakes are really easy and you can't distinguish the difference.
When my son first had to go gluten and dairy free I spent the first year trying to replicate his old diet. Crazy really.

MirrorMirrorOnTheFloor Mon 08-Aug-16 07:48:25

I can tolerate Manchego (sheeps milk cheese) so I use that. But nutritional yeast and / or an extra lump of non dairy marg before serving also help. I also do the mushroom thing - I fry them for ages very low with the lid on with the onions before I add any rice or stock. And the Bouillon (Marigold brand) stock definitely is the tastiest non dairy one I've found.

trixymalixy Mon 08-Aug-16 08:17:48

We're just back from Italy and DS had an amazing dairy free risotto that had star anise and ginger in it. Not very traditional but extremely delicious.

trixymalixy Mon 08-Aug-16 08:18:58

Another thing to look into is nutritional yeast which some vegans use to give a cheese flavour to food.

puffinpants Mon 08-Aug-16 16:29:02

Thanks everyone! A few things for me to try here - I haven't tried Manchego but have got on ok with feta in the past so that's worth a shot.

The dairy free cheese recommendation is really helpful as I've got fed up of spending lots of money on cheese alternatives that are, frankly, inedible.

I think I also need to look at recipes not by Jamie Oliver as he insists on Parmesan so his wont work if you just miss it out.

Yes I am using risotto rice - might not have the patience for all the stirring so that might be why too...

Annoyingly I'm not a major fan of seafood but as I'm not I have never actually tried seafood rissotto so that might well be worth it too.

I also didn't have any (white) wine in the day I made the rissotto that made me post this so that might also have been a factor!

puffinpants Mon 08-Aug-16 16:30:39

Oh and I have nutritional easy flakes in but it didn't occur to me to add it

PurpleDaisies Mon 08-Aug-16 16:43:16

I know you specifically asked for ones where you don't just leave out the cheese, but I made this buttenut squash risotto for a friend with w dairy allergy and it was fantastic. I used dairy free butter and added pine nuts and olives. The original recipe from mayerchef Australia uses Rosemary which you just add when you fry the onions.

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