Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mushroom Risotto

This recipe is adapted from Judith Barrett’s "Risotto Ai Funghi" found in her From an Italian Garden cookbook. I love to make this or Lobster Mushroom and Leek Risotto when I am visiting Alex and Dan in Portland. The variety of wild mushrooms available in the Portland Farmer's Market makes this a very special dish. [I find this makes 6 generous servings. I often halve, simplifying and reducing amount of mushrooms as noted for a simple dinner main dish for 2-3.]



Place

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms [I often omit]

in a glass measuring cup with ½ cup boiling water and allow to stand for 30 minutes. Drain and rise well removing any grit or dirt. Strain the soaking liquid through a double thickness of cheesecloth and reserve. [If there is only a little grit in the bottom of the cup, I pour off liquid carefully to leave residue in the bottom of the cup.]

Melt:

4 T butter [I use 2 T olive oil]

in a medium sized skillet over medium high heat. Add the porcini and:

1 large garlic clove, finely minced or pressed

2 pounds wild mushrooms, stems trimmed and caps and stems coarsely chopped [if  I'm not making this for a special occasion I sometimes use only 1 pound ( 8 oz for 2) mushrooms and trim but don't remove stems completely]

Season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook stirring for about 7 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender. Set aside.

In a heavy four quart sauce-pan, melt:

3 T butter [I  omit]
2 T olive oil [I use 3 T or a combination  1 1/2 T olive oil and 1 1/2 T white truffle oil]

Add:

½ c chopped sweet onion

and cook stirring until it begins to soften. Add:

2 c uncooked Arborio rice

and stir well using a wooden spoon to combine. Add

½ c dry white wine

all at once and cook, stirring, until wine is mostly absorbed by the rice, about a minute or two.

BEGIN to add

6 ½ c hot chicken or vegetable broth

about 3/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition until the broth has been mostly absorbed by the rice. Continue to add broth, stirring, until the rice is tender but firm, al dente, about 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat, stir in one last addition of broth, the mushrooms,

½ c freshly grated Parmesan cheese [if using truffle oil, I omit the cheese]

2 T chopped fresh parsley [if using truffle oil and no cheese, I often use 2 T chopped fresh sage instead]

and stir until the cheese melts and is incorporated into the rice.  Serve immediately.


VARIATION (NOV 2011): Mushroom Risotto with Winter Squash and Sage

Before starting the risotto:

Cut in half, peel, and cut in 3/4 inch cubes:

1 medium butternut squash

Put

2 t olive oil in a baking dish

Add the squash and toss with the oil. Place in preheated 425 degree F oven and roast for approximately 30 minutes, shaking the pan and/or tossing the squash with the oil every 10 minutes, or until squash is tender.

While the squash is cooking make the risotto but

Omit the Parmesan cheese and parsley and finish the risotto with:

2 t white truffle oil

Toss the squash cubes  with

 1 T chopped fresh sage

See also: Winter Squash with Sage Risotto

Place a serving of squash on top of each serving of risotto.

VARIATION (SPRING 2012) Mushroom Risotto with Pea Tendrils

While squash and sage are a great winter addition to this risotto, ramps and especially pea tendrils are a perfect spring accompaniment.  When making risotto with pea tendrils, use parsley (optional) but no sage. For recipes see: Ramps - Spring Greens - Pea Tendrils

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