When you work across the street from an Italian supermarket, you have a lot of amazing food items readily on hand. Fresh produce? No problem! Looking for a delicious bottle of red wine? Come on in! Large selection of risotto rice? Are you kidding? Ah, but they also have frozen goods, including gluten-free pizza pies and Porcini mushrooms, meaning you can have the latter even during the off-season, such as now. Frankly, it’s bliss to have all the amazing foods available easily.
Not sure how the weather is faring on your part of the world, but here it’s definitely heading on winter. I’ve brought out all the warm items from the back of my closet, mainly the boots, my coat and thick scarves to go along with my wool hat. I wonder what I’ll be upgrading this outfit to when it gets to be truly cold, but I can cross that bridge when I get to it. I’ve also started to make stews and soups for dinner, and they help to keep me warm and happy. Risotto is a great solution for a quick week-day dinner!
It’s been quiet here on the blog these past months. I was distracted. With work. With travels. And with other activities. Yes, I’ve been cooking and eating (if you’re interested, catch up with me on Facebook, where I’ve been posting lots of food-related pictures!), but with little time to write up blog posts containing recipes. So this recipe is from sometime back in summer. I somehow never got around to posting it even though the pictures were sitting around on my hard drive, but here you go. Just in time for the cold weather, you can never go wrong with a risotto, a glass of wine and some candlelight!
It’s not your regular risotto recipe. Why? Well, it features sparkling wine rather than dry white wine. I find this change in ingredients to be a positive one, rendering a much smoother, lighter risotto with a full flavor that focuses more on the other ingredients. Promise you’ll try! I promise you, you’ll never go back to using dry white wine!
Mixed Mushroom Risotto
400g mixed mushrooms (e.g. chanterelle, porcini, button, shiitake), sliced
1 generous tbsp butter (for a vegan option, replace this with margarine)
1 generous tbsp of oil
2 medium onions (chopped finely)
1 cup of risotto rice (washed in a colander and drained – I used Roma rice by Scotti)
1,5 cups of sparkling white wine (if you’re doing this in a vegan version, ensure it’s vegan)
1,5 cups vegetable broth
fresh herbs (e.g. parsley, thyme – chopped)
one wedge of parmesan (I always have these in the back of my fridgem – if you’re doing this in a vegan version, replace with a laurel leaf)
30g parmesan (finely grated -. for a vegan version, use parmesan made from cashews)
In a medium (high) pot melt the butter. Add the onion and fry it until it is lightly brown. Add a few mushrooms (about a handful). Add the risotto rice and stir well. Bit by bit (about half a cup at a time) add the sparkling white wine and the vegetable broth. Turn the heat down (to a medium temperature) and allow the liquid to evaporate. Add the wedge of parmesan. Stir occasionally, but not too often. When you stir a risotto too much (I used to do this), you inhibit the rice from cooking. So use a healthy measure between a burnt coat of rice on the bottom of your pot and a rich, lush sauce around your risotto rice. Continue adding the vegetable broth and the white sparkling wine by the half-cup-full and refill as needed. Your risotto is ready when your rice is cooked al dente and a rich and flavorful sauce has formed around your grains of rice. Remove the wedge of parmesan (and throw it away). Add the chopped herbs. Heat the mushrooms you fried at the beginning of this recipe in their pan and once they are heated proceed to add about half to the risotto. Serve your risotto while still hot, covered with decorative slices of mushrooms, and a bit of parmesan sprinkled on top.
Enjoy with a brightly coloured salad, good company and a refreshing drink!