Sunday, September 20, 2015

VeganMoFo Day 20: Veganized Croatian Risotto Recipe (aka Rizut)

Today's Prompt: "Veganize an old family recipe."

A couple of years ago, also during MoFo, I blogged about a Croatian dish called Rizut (undoubtedly derived from the Italian word, risotto). This was a dish that Mr. VE&T grew up eating on special occasions in his Croatian family. We don't have a written family recipe, but we used this non-vegan recipe as a starting point, and I also talked with his stepmother about what she remembered about preparing the dish. She told me that as soon as she married Mr VE&T's father, she was taught how to prepare rizut for him by his mother. That's old school!

Without a handed-down recipe, this dish mostly just exists in the mercurial ether of Mr. VE&T's memory. Our previous attempt at Rizut, a couple years ago, was certainly good... but Mr. VE&T felt that the recipe was not ready to be shared with the blogosphere. Some je ne sais quoi was missing from it. He wanted some rosemary in there. And, he recalled that in his family they used vermouth and not red wine -- a fact that his stepmother confirmed for sure. And maybe some allspice.

Most of the time, I am happy to cook in the kitchen while Mr. VE&T plays piano or watches TV or whatever, but this time I felt that I really needed his palatte in the kitchen. After all, he's the one who knows what we're looking to re-create here.

the Croatian flag features red & white checkers

Happily, this batch turned out SO YUMMY. I know it just looks like a pile of tomato and rice mush, but I promise you that the taste is more interesting than it would seem. Mr VE&T's family version of rizut is full of warming spices and was filling and robust but not heavy at all. After all the tweaking and adjusting, Mr. VE&T was totally delighted with the result, and he has - at last - approved our recipe for distribution into the world: :

Mr Vegan Eats and Treat's Family Rizut Recipe
(recreated through the ethereal memory of Mr VE&T's taste buds)

1 tsp olive oil
1 Package Tofurkey "Lightly Seasoned" Chick'n (or any other seitan of choice), 
                 broken up/ torn into shreds
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp dried allspice
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp mushroom broth powder (or 1 Tbsp ground dried mushrooms)
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 14-oz can tomato sauce
4 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup Vermouth 
1 cup white rice
2 cups water

In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the Chick'n and saute for a 5-6 minutes until the shreds and chunks are lightly browned. 

Add in the onion, celery, and garlic, and saute another 5 minutes or so, until the veggies are softened and lightly browned. Add in the parsley, rosemary, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, oregano, pepper, salt, and mushroom broth powder, and saute 1 more minute. 

Next, add in the canned tomatoes and their juices, the tomato sauce, the tomato paste, and the vermouth. Give it all a good stir, and then bring it to a boil.

Add in the rice and water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer, and cook (covered) for 20-25 minutes, until the dish is thick like a risotto. Eat, enjoy, and think of Mr. VE&T! 


  1. Ooh this really does look delicious. Sounds like it'd be a nice warming meal for a cold day!

  2. This looks so delicious! I love all the spices used!

  3. Yum! I had some Croatian friends in high school but I never had any savoury dishes. I remember a dessert made with sheets of wafers but that's about it!

  4. Wow, what a hearty and tasty looking risotto!

  5. I love risotto and reckon I'd love this with all those fab spices. I often put vermouth in risotto and Marsala can be good too.

  6. The first time I ever had risotto was in Croatia! It felt very exotic because my Serbian family never made it. I'll have to try this!

  7. I know nothing about Croatian cuisine, but this rizut looks really good.

  8. This sounds delicious. Comfort food, warming =) Mr. VE&T knows his stuff! I think the dish looks quite tasty - not mushy ;p
    I would love for you to share this at Healthy Vegan Fridays =)

  9. How fun! Croatia has been rising on my to-visit list lately, and this just bumped it up a bit!


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