Red onion and watercress risotto

I’ve mentioned Denis Cotter’s cookbooks before. I was a big fan of them before I went vegan, and there are quite a few vegan recipes in them, as well as some very easily veganisable ones.

Due to a shopping list duplication mix up, I had a big bag of watercress to use up and was wondering what to do with it. I remembered this risotto from dairy eating days, and it coincided nicely with Kip kindly sending me some of the new Cheezly parmesan to try. This is a basic and easy risotto recipe, but using red onions and loads of watercress makes it a bit unusual. It also has some oyster mushrooms flash fried with parsley on the top, which add texture and richness to the dish.

I love watercress, especially English watercress, but it seems to have been usurped in recipes by the trendier rocket, which I don’t quite understand. This risotto is a great way to use it. The Cheezly parmesan is much softer than the dairy equivalent, but has a great bite to it and I will buy it in future.

More on Redwood

Redwood Foods very kindly sent me some more samples of their newish products. I love this company. All their products are totally vegan and are great meat and dairy alternatives. I do make my own versions of lot of their products but it’s still great to be able to buy vegan sausages, burgers and a range of cheeses. I know many people who live in the land of Daiya and Teese who’d give them up every time to be able to get Redwood Cheezly (Especially the bacon one. It’s not new but I tried it on a¬†sandwich in a panini press with HP sauce a few weeks ago and it blew my mind).

The first thing I sampled was the meatballs. I’m not over keen on tomatoey pasta sauces so I used Joni’s recipe for Swedish meatballs (the sauce part) and threw in some spinach.

We both liked this dish a lot, both the actual balls and the sauce. The balls are chunky and meaty and I have the rest in the freezer for a late night meatball sub.

The next thing to try was the Pepperjack cheese. Now maybe my tastebuds are getting more vegan but I could actually eat this stuff on a cracker. I tried it in a few dishes – quesadillas, tacos, and the Food Network Friday from a few weeks ago. I don’t know that the spiciness shone through with some strongly flavoured dishes but it tasted good and melted well and I’d like to try it on nachos.

The soya free cheddar melted astonishingly well. I have no problems eating soya but if I did I’d be glad to know this existed.

The blue cheese was the last thing I tried. I just couldn’t decide how to use it so I used it 2 ways – one cooked and one raw. The cooked recipe was this one from Denis Cotter. I’ll be returning to Denis Cotter in a later post, but just know that this was a really tasty dish and the blue cheese flavour was prominent with a good texture.

Finally I made this dip as part of a cheese and wine evening (again, more on that later!). This was beautiful, rich and creamy and “blue” tasting and was wolfed down by my non vegan husband with gusto.

I’m more than happy to recommend Redwood as a company and am so glad that they don’t stand still. They’re constantly coming up with new ideas and products which will appeal to a range of consumers. I really wish they’d manage to break the Quorn monopoly that tends to exist in supermarkets and chain pubs and I want to encourage people to keep requesting that more shops stock their products.