This risotto is the perfect vegetarian comfort food. Creamy, cheesy and a deliciously rich in umami flavour from the black garlic and mushrooms. The savouriness of the flavours will even have meat-eaters asking for seconds of this dish!
I was inspired to make this dish to vary up my meat-free meals and to find a new fun way to use the delicious Hawkshead Black Garlic Ketchup relish that I picked up from Lakeland a while ago! I love to pick up a new and interesting ingredient and often find I have a stash of varied condiments, cooking sauces and spices to try!!!
What is Black Garlic?
Black garlic is the end product of ageing normal garlic bulbs for weeks or even months in special temperature & humidity conditions. Through this process the garlic turns a dark black colour and has a sticky texture (think like figs/dates).
The result is it has a softer, more delicate flavour than a raw or roasted garlic bulb would have. It has a delicious sweetness to it, but also a lovely aged balsamic quality that is perfect for a huge number of recipes & uses! It is a complex
Health wise, black garlic has added benefits for you. Just like garlic, it has plenty of antioxidants and can help your immune system. Studies show these are actually higher than raw garlic, so this would be the perfect meal when you have a sniffle! It is also reported to help heart health and brain health by reducing inflammation. As with any ingredient be careful if you have any contraindications or have been told to avoid certain food groups!
The Hawkshead Black Garlic Ketchup
The Hawkshead Relish Company began at a busy cafe in the Lake District, where they realised people frequently wanted to take home the preserves, chutneys and relishes they were serving. The family business is extremely focused on using quality ingredients, which I think you can really taste in all of their products. They have also won over 50 Great Taste Awards for their 100 product range which shows just how fantastic the products are!
The Black Garlic Ketchup is a blend of black garlic, with balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, sugar, onions & spices to make a delicious umami ketchup that is perfect as a dipping sauce as well as for cooking into soups, casseroles and with my recipe – risotto!
The ketchup is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free which means it’s suitable for a whole range of dietary requirements. I picked mine up in Lakeland, but you can buy direct for worldwide shipping and at stockists across the UK and other countries.
I definitely needed a second flavour to go into the risotto with the black garlic and the obvious choice for me is mushrooms. They are the perfect, classic ingredient for a risotto and I went for a mixture of chestnut mushrooms and shitake mushrooms. You can add some porcini mushrooms and mushroom stock for an extra punch if you wanted to as well.
This is how I would normally cook a risotto, adding the garlic at the end instead of the beginning. This is because I didn’t want to burn the ketchup and wanted to infuse it gently at the end.
To make the dish vegetarian, I used Violife ‘Parmesan’ cheese. This is dairy free, vegan alternative as Parmesan is not vegetarian due to it’s use of rennet in production. You can obviously decide whether you want to use traditional Parmesan or a vegan alternative! The same can be applied to the butter if you want to make it vegan instead of vegetarian.
Did you make this recipe?