Risotto is one of the first recipes I learned to make and a favorite for an indulgent dinner experience. Mushroom risotto is actually the first meal I made for my now partner. We've been together for almost a decade, so I consider it a bit of a good luck charm.
Over the years my technique has evolved. Below I've shared my current method for a creamy, flavorful dish. I hope it serves you well!
To start, bring 6 to 7 cups of stock to simmer in a saucepan. If you have the time, I highly recommend making a parm broth to use as your liquid - double this recipe. Bone broth would also be a nice add for a healing meal. We went the easy route this time and added mushroom bouillon base to water for our stock.
While the stock is heating up, I like to gather and portion out my ingredients (makes 4 to 6 servings).
Once the stock is simmering, lower heat and cover. In a separate bowl, add dried mushrooms. Pour 1 cup of the simmering stock over the mushrooms. Let sit for 15-20 minutes or until mushrooms are fully reconstituted.
Now that all the ingredients are prepped, it’s time for the main event. To start the risotto, heat oil in a wide, heavy skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots; cook until just tender (3-5 minutes). Turn up heat and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until they begin to sweat (~3 minutes). Season mushrooms with salt and pepper and continue to cook over medium heat until they are soft. I recommend using the thyme salt from our summer supper club shipment if you have it. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add rice and stir until grains begin to crackle. Add wine and lemon zest; cook, stirring, until wine is no longer visible in the pan. Stir in enough simmering stock to just cover the rice. The stock should bubble slowly. Cook, stirring often and vigorously, until stock is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of stock and continue cooking, not too fast and not too slowly, stirring often and adding more stock when rice is almost dry (~30 minutes). Rice should be tender all the way through. Taste for consistency and seasoning; adjust if needed. Stir in parmesan and remove from heat. Season with black pepper.
Risotto is a fun dish to make with friends. It's a bit labour intensive, but after the first 10 minutes or so, it's all about the stir. Pour everyone a glass of whichever white you're using for the recipe and take turns pouring stock and stirring the creaminess into your risotto.
Cooking alone? Still pour that glass of wine and use the rhythmic stirring motion to guide your breath in meditation.
Place the pan as the centerpiece for your feast. I serve my risotto straight from our dutch oven, scooping healthy portions for each guest around the table. To balance, serve with a simple salad and french bread. We finished a light lettuce and heirloom tomato salad with a balsamic vinaigrette using Rosemary Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar of Modena, dijon mustard and a pinch of thyme salt.
Pair with your favorite light red wine and enjoy!