Boy, did I get risotto wrong for all these years, I am so embarrassed! About a year ago we invited some friends over for dinner and I made the mushroom risotto recipe I have on this site, and just cooked it forever, until it was mush. Luckily the flavors were still good, but the consistency was all wrong — I now know! I always read in recipes here in the US to stir the risotto constantly which also I now know to be untrue. So there I was stirring continuously for what seemed like hours while our guests stood in the kitchen drinking and hungrily watching the risotto that seemed like it would never finish cooking. Not good.
This summer we vacationed in northern Italy and took a cooking class. The chef taught us to make risotto the real way, the Italian way. What a difference. It turns out that risotto is a quick little side dish that requires very little stirring or care! Who knew?
Give this a try. Add whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand, it is a terrific blank canvas for seasonal ingredients.
New and Improved Mushroom Risotto
A simple and basic risotto recipe that can be personalized with vegetables or proteins of your choice.
- About 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 sweet onion, cut into a small dice
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 cup carnaroli or arborio rice
- 3/4 cup dry white wine
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 10 oz fresh spinach
- about a Tablespoon fresh sage, cut in a chiffonade
- about a Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little more for garnishing
- Warm the broth in either a pot or if you are lazy like me in a glass measuring cup in the microwave (one less pot to clean).
- In a large deep dutch oven or skillet heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat stirring until softened, about 4 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes, until softened.
- Add the rice and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. You should see a little white dot in the rice when it has been toasted enough.
- Add the wine, give it a little stir and let it cook over medium heat until the wine is absorbed, about 2 or 3 minutes minutes.
- Add about 1 cup of the warm stock to the rice mixture, give it a good stir and cook until nearly absorbed (don’t constantly stir while the rice mixture is absorbing the broth). Repeat adding the stock about 1 cup at a time and just giving it one stir after each addition of broth to get the broth and the rice mixed until the liquid is nearly absorbed between additions, for about 12 minutes (you may not use all the stock). Taste the risotto at this point. If it is cooked al dente (fully cooked but still slightly firm to the bite) at this point, you are finished cooking it. If not, add a little more broth and check again after it is absorbed.
- Turn off the heat and add fresh spinach, a little black pepper and parmesan. Taste and add salt and more pepper to your liking.
- Serve immediately, topping each potion with a sprinkle of parmesan and fresh herbs. Enjoy!
Note: I has some small cherry tomatoes lying around, so I added them half-way during step 6. My husband also sauteed a little lobster tail in olive oil, butter, sage and garlic, and we mixed that in during step 7. Other times we have kept it simple and subbed in some tomato sauce for the last cup of broth. The possibilities are endless.
https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com October 7, 2019