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Mushroom risotto

Creamy Wild Mushroom Risotto in a Single Pot

Here’s a recipe I think you should make this holiday season–mushroom risotto. It’s a wonderful vegetarian side dish for many holiday meals. I think it’s the perfect accompaniment for a traditional roast. I’ve also enjoyed it with roast chicken, duck and braised rabbit.

But that’s not all. Consider it a welcome change of pace for ordinary dinners. Say, while watching a holiday movie.

One bowl, one spoon, a luxurious {but inexpensive} rice porridge that delivers pure satisfaction.

Mushroom risotto in a bowl

Wild mushroom risotto sounds like a stretch for weeknight cooking. But it’s actually within reach: risotto is so much less work–and quicker–than anyone thinks. As for the wild mushrooms, if you can’t find fresh, use dried.

Here’s how I’ve come around on making more risotto.

Risotto is Comfort Cooking

This fall I went to Portland to appear on this podcast to talk about meat {of course!}. Afterwards, I went to stay with my friend Kathleen and her husband, Dave, who treated me royally.

While I sat in their kitchen sipping a cocktail and snacking on appetizers, they prepared a rotisserie chicken and chanterelle mushroom risotto.

And they made it all look effortless.

Chanterelle mushrooms

That’s one of the joys of people cooking for you. I consider it a gift.

But my takeaway from that visit is that risotto is doable. It’s a one pot dinner for any night of the week. The ingredients are simple and come from the pantry {more on mushrooms in a minute}.

As for the stirring, it takes much less time than publicized. There’s a comfort in it, I think, of tending to the pot while it demands so little of your attention.

It’s a moment of time to have a live conversation, like we did in Portland. Or you can make a phone call to someone you love. Or, you can stare into the middle distance and simply breathe.

I promise it will smell divine. And the best is yet to come.

As for the mushrooms, use what you have. I was happy to find fresh chanterelles this fall at the supermarket. I’ve also made it with dried and re-hydrated wild mushrooms I keep on hand.

The extra hit of porcini powder {dried and ground wild mushrooms widely available in stores} is a power boost of mushroom flavors and umami. Even if you only have ordinary white button or cremini mushrooms–make this risotto!

You’ll be astounded at what you can make in a single pot.

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Creamy Wild Mushroom Risotto

This is luxurious comfort food you can make with pantry ingredients in a single pot. The rice cooks just until it is tender to the bite and there is still enough liquid to make it like a porridge. You can substitute other whole grains, such as farro or barley for the arborio rice. Serve as a vegetarian main dish or as a side dish for beef, poultry or fish.

Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword mushroom risotto
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author lynnes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh wild mushrooms or dried wild mushrooms, see Recipe Notes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5-6 cups hot vegetable or mushroom broth or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
  • 1 teaspoon porcini powder optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, if using fresh, season with the salt and cook until the mushrooms are nicely browned, about 7 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.

  2. Heat the oil in the same saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is glistening and the edges look translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of it is absorbed.

  3. Begin adding the hot broth in small batches, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well with each addition. Adjust the heat so that the pot is bubbling steadily but gently. Stir the rice every few minutes and when most of the broth is absorbed, add another 1/2 cup or so. As the rice swells, you can begin to add a larger quantity of broth, 3/4-1 cup, until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Taste a grain of rice; it should have a bit of chew but no crunchiness.

  4. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the cream, parmesan, porcini powder, if using, and black pepper. Add additional broth so that the risotto looks like a porridge and taste for seasoning. Add the reserved mushrooms or rehydrated dried mushrooms (you can reserve a portion for the top for presentation, if desired).

  5. The risotto will continue to absorb the liquid between the stovetop and table.Aim to serve it promptly with additional grated parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

To substitute dried wild mushrooms: Put them in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Use a plate slightly smaller than the bowl to keep the mushrooms submerged. Soak the mushrooms for 25 minutes. Strain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid to use to make the risotto, if you like, discarding any grit at the bottom of the bowl. I like to chop the mushrooms for the best texture.

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