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Mushroom risotto. The flavor is so sublime, why complicate it with too many other ingredients? The essence that is the mushroom carries the flavor with the assistance of shallots, dry white wine and parsley. Watch carefully. Do not overcook. Do not overstir. It’s a lesson in patience – a zen experience.
Let the risotto evolve and reduce with gentle stirs and ladlefuls of broth as needed. Do not overwork it – just like life. Don’t over think. Just let the magic happen. Earthy, delicate, straightforward. A recipe that taught me when to add broth. When to stir. When to let it rest. This is why I love to cook. The food talks to you and lets you know how it would like to be treated. Maybe I should have a chat with each dish I make and get their opinion on how they’d like to be prepared.
Resist giving into the temptation to cook the rice until it’s mushy. Risotto should be like pasta, “al dente” with a little teeth to the bite. This gives the rice character so it doesn’t sink into the sunset as a nondescript bowl of cream of rice. What I want to share with you is not how to make risotto, but rather how to experience risotto.

Mushroom Risotto

1 Tablespoon butter

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 shallot, chopped finely

1 cup chopped mushrooms or rehydrated dried mushrooms or wild Bolete mushrooms

1 cup Arborio rice

1/4 cup dry white wine

3 plus cups vegetarian stock or chicken stock – warmed on the stove

1/4 – 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese – optional

chopped parsley to garnish

Melt the butter and oil together. Stir in the shallots and sauté until soft. Add the mushrooms. Stir in the rice. Let the rice immerse itself into the oil. Add the white wine and cook on medium heat until the liquid is nearly evaporated. Now, slowly stir in the broth of your choice, about one cup to start. You will notice that it quickly is absorbed into the rice. Give a little stir so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom, then ladle in another 1/2 cup or so of the broth. Continue this method until the rice is cooked. The rice might absorb 2 1/2 cups or 3 cups. Taste frequently and salt to taste. It is best when there is still some liquid in the rice so it is a bit saucy! If desired, stir in parmesan. Garnish with parsley. I also garnished with pieces of grilled zucchini as shown in the photo. Serve with a crisp green salad and crusty bread.

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ciao for now!

Mary