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Creamy Quinoa and White Bean Risotto with Crispy Brassica Florets

Reprinted from The First Mess Cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Laura Wright
Course Main
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 608 kcal
Author Laura Wright


  • 5 to 6 cups (1.25 to 1.5 L) small (1 to 1½ inch/2.5 to 4 cm) florets of cauliflower OR broccoli OR Romanesco broccoli OR a mix
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (30 mL + 10 mL) virgin olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper , to taste
  • 2 cups (500 mL) cooked white beans, such as navy or cannellini
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • pinch of nutritional yeast
  • 2⅓ cups (575 mL) vegetable stock, divided
  • 4 to 5 shallots , fine dice (roughly 2/3 cup/150 mL diced shallots)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) minced fresh thyme leaves (about 4 sprigs)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) quinoa (any color), rinsed
  • ½ cup (125 mL) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • drizzle of virgin olive oil , for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place the small florets on the baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and slide the baking sheet into the oven. Roast the florets until the edges are evenly brown and crispy, flipping the pieces over occasionally to ensure equal doneness, about 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside.
  3. While the florets roast, in a blender, purée the white beans with the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, 2 teaspoons (10 mL) of the olive oil, and ⅓ cup (75 mL) of the vegetable stock. As soon as you have a smooth and creamy purée, stop the blender. Set the bean purée aside.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of olive oil in a braiser or medium-sized soup pot over medium heat. Add the shallots, and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Next, add the fresh thyme and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the rinsed quinoa to the pot and stir to coat in the oil, herbs, and shallots. Then, add the remaining 2 cups (500 mL) of vegetable stock to the pot and stir. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the quinoa has absorbed almost all of the liquid, about 13 to 15 minutes.
  6. Scrape the white bean purée into the pot and stir to combine. The quinoa should have a creamy consistency without seeming dry. If it seems dry, add a good splash of vegetable stock.
  7. Season the risotto with salt and pepper. Add half of the parsley to the pot and stir to mix throughout. Divide the quinoa risotto among 4 bowls. Top all portions of risotto with the crispy roasted florets and remaining parsley. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top if you like. Serve hot.
Nutrition Facts
Creamy Quinoa and White Bean Risotto with Crispy Brassica Florets
Amount Per Serving
Calories 608 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 813mg35%
Potassium 3172mg91%
Carbohydrates 103g34%
Fiber 28g117%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 5705IU114%
Vitamin C 692.9mg840%
Calcium 466mg47%
Iron 11.1mg62%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.