Risotto might actually be one of my favourite foods. Mushroom risotto to be specific. There’s just something about the creamy, peppery, earthy flavours that makes it the perfect comfort food. It’s no coincidence that you will find risotto in my regular dinner rotation this season especially with these sub-zero temperatures.
I first tried this recipe about a year ago and to be honest, I was super nervous. It feels like one of those dishes that could go wrong if you screw up even one step. Well friends, I’m here to tell you that’s it’s SO easy. I can guarantee that you even have most of the ingredients in your fridge/pantry as we speak. The most complicated part is probably the constant stirring which can feel laborious but the result is so worth it.
There are a many varieties of Risotto but in my humble opinion, the simplest ones are the best. Another great thing about risotto is that it’s a naturally gluten-free dish and should you choose to, you can even make it vegan.
Two small tips when you make risotto that have really helped me out:
- The broth will make or break this dish. I always keep a little more on hand than the recipe calls for just in case the rice is a under cooked. Heating the broth before you start also helps to cook the rice a bit faster
- When your risotto is almost done you want the consistency to be on the creamy side. Let the rice absorb the last amount of broth but there should be a slight gravy like consistency
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
- 1 package mushrooms of your choice, sliced. **I use cremini for more of that earthy flavor and the coloring
- 2-3 shallots, roughly diced or about half a yellow onion
- 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- 1/4 cup dry white wine or apple juice
- 1 tablespoons parsley of your choice or chives, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, more or less to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- freshly grated parmesan cheese, more or less to taste
1. In a saucepan, warm the broth over medium heat.
2. Heat a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet to high heat. Add the mushrooms to the dry skillet and stir as the mushrooms release their juices. Turn heat to medium-high and continue to stir until the juice starts to be absorbed and mushrooms are browned. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and continue cooking until the rest of the liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Remove mushrooms and set aside.
3. Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon olive oil
4. Stir in the shallots. Cook about 1 minute or until shallots begin to soften. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes.
5. Pour in the wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed.
**You can also substitute with broth if you don’t have wine.
6. Return heat to medium-high and using a mug or measuring cup add between ½ -1 cup broth to the rice (I added 1 cup initially and then reduced to 1/2 tasting as I go), and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding the hot broth one scoopful at a time, stirring continuously, making sure the liquid becomes absorbed before adding more broth.
7. After about 4 cups I start tasting the rice to make sure its cooked through. I usually find it needs at least the full 6 cups.
8. When you’ve got almost all the broth added, begin turning the heat down to medium if necessary. After about 20 minutes or so, the rice will be al dente.
9. Turn off the heat and stir in the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. (At this point, if you want a vegan meal, you’re done!
10. If not, add the butter, parsley or chives and parmesan.
And voila! Yummy, plate-licking, crowd-pleasing mushroom risotto. The best part is that you can use leftovers to eat as a meal on their own or as a side dish.
Let me know if you end up trying this recipe and what you think!