Allergy Friendly Spring Vegetable Risotto



Spring Vegetable Risotto


Serves 4

Free From: gluten and all top allergens

Brimming with the bounty of spring, this risotto is so flavorful that you won’t even miss the customary Parmesan. Tender asparagus, baby zucchini, and young peas are rounded out by the delicate notes of sweet onions, fresh herbs, and early season tomatoes. Luckily, you can find these ingredients year round, so bring a little spring to your table, all year long!

Prep all ingredients, read the recipe through, and be ready to go. Risotto is easy, but requires continuous attention.


4½ cups vegetable or chicken broth (or stock)

¼ cup olive oil

1 tablespoon dairy-free, soy-free margarine or buttery spread

1 cup finely chopped sweet onion (e.g. Vidalia or Walla Walla)

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1½ cups uncooked Arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine

1 small zucchini, finely chopped

12 ounces small asparagus, chopped into ¼-inch pieces

1 cup fresh shelled peas, the smaller the better

3 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped

¼ teaspoon salt, plus a pinch for finishing

¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, divided

¼ cup chopped fresh basil, divided

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve

Black truffle salt, to serve (optional)


1. In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer over lowest possible heat.

2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil and margarine over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes or until aromatic. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add rice and sauté until glistening, about 1 minute. Add wine and cook while stirring until absorbed, about 2 minutes.

3. Add ½ cup heated broth to rice. Simmer while stirring continuously over medium heat until all broth is absorbed. Repeat, continuing to add 3 more cups heated broth, a half cup at a time, stirring continuously after each addition, until completely absorbed. After 10 minutes, stir in zucchini, asparagus, peas, tomatoes and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add another ½ cup broth and continue cooking as before, for 8 to 10 minutes, (reduce heat if simmering too hard) or until rice and vegetables are just tender, and ½ cup broth remains. Turn off heat.

4. Add final ½ cup broth, half of herbs, pinch salt and a few turns of black pepper. Cover and let rest 2 minutes.

5. Serve immediately, topped with remaining fresh herbs, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a little black truffle salt, if using.

Allergy-Friendly Spring Vegetable Risotto © 2014 by Cybele Pascal

This recipe first appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Allergic Living Magazine

Allergy Free Hollandaise Sauce



With asparagus season in full swing and artichoke season rolling in, I figured it was the perfect time to roll out a safe allergy-free hollandaise sauce.

Hollandaise is traditionally made with eggs, one of the top eight food allergens. To replace eggs, vegan versions of the classic sauce usually rely on silken tofu. However, soy (silken tofu) is also one of the top eight food allergens. So I had to put on my thinking cap.

I replaced the eggs and/or silken tofu with a rice milk and olive and canola oil emulsion and added a smidgen of turmeric and a little nutritional yeast for the lovely buttercup hue, and also a flavor boost. And, of course, I used lemon juice, since that zip of acidity is the backbone of all hollandaise sauces.

Bonus: this one is vegan, too, so there’s no salmonella risk. Additionally, unlike traditional hollandaise, it can be made in advance, and keeps well for several days, covered in the fridge. Just bring to room temperature before serving.

Remember when you make this, slow and steady wins the race. Add the oil a little at a time to achieve the creamiest end result. (more…)

Allergy Free Roasted Asparagus Soup


Today’s recipe for Allergy-Free Roasted Asparagus Soup marks the beginning of a series of recipes I’ll be posting over the next several weeks, to help make it easier to celebrate an allergy-free Easter and Passover.

Springtime to me means merging the best of my varying culinary background. With a mother of Roman Catholic and Protestant decent and a Jewish father, I grew up celebrating both Christian and Jewish holidays. To complicate matters further, my father is half Ashkenazi (Jews of Central, Northwestern and/or Eastern European descent) and half Sephardic (Jews of Spanish and Portuguese descent). This hybridized childhood strongly influences my cooking today. You will find that the following series of recipes are suitable for either Easter or Passover dinner. Plus, they take advantage of seasonal farm-fresh ingredients to guarantee a healthy, wholesome allergy-free spin on your favorite old-fashioned standards.