I think of risotto as a cool weather food, but we’ve had a few cool days and it happens to be my husband’s favourite food. I mean, it’s creamy, filling and highly adaptable. This one is a mixture of wild and cultivated mushrooms, so on top of something very creamy, expect a rich, deep and earthy risotto.
My best tips for a successful risotto are to prepare all your ingredients before starting to cook it; including making your stock in a mason jar, so you can easily pour it. Also, keep the rice at a simmer and just keep stirring. That’s it. It’s really very easy once you’ve done it once. As for mushrooms, please don’t wash them. You are ruining them when you do that. If they’re dirty, wipe them with a soft clean towel or a paper towel. You can save yourself some prep by purchasing already sliced mushrooms and heating premade stock!
My mushroom mix included button mushroom, cremini, shiitake and chanterelles. On top, I’ve done a very special wild mushroom: the lobster mushroom. It’s very rare, so don’t fret if you can’t find them. I just quickly browned the sliced lobster mushrooms in bit of oil on each side. They are exceptionally dense, very meaty with a slight taste of the sea and have the most gorgeous colour.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
400 g mixed mushrooms, sliced
Pinch of salt
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup white wine, your choice
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 sprig of rosemary
3 sprigs of thyme
1 litre heated vegetarian chicken stock, substitute vegetable or mushroom stock
1 tablespoon non-dairy margarine
Juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine (optional)
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and sautée for several minutes. Once the mushrooms and onions have started to release their water, sprinkle a pinch of salt over them and sautée for another couple of minutes, until they have both softened. Add the rice and stir to combine. Add the white wine, garlic, rosemary and thyme and stir until it has been absorbed. Add about a half cup of stock and stir until it has all absorbed. Add another 1/4 cup of stock and stir. Continue to do so until you have used all the stock, or until the rice is al dentle. Turn off the heat, add the margarine, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and parsley, stir until the margarine has melted and set aside for about 10 minutes. Serve hot.