Dreamy's Delights

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Wild Mushroom Risotto

At it’s most basic, Risotto is a rice dish. What makes it stand out is the amazing texture and consistency that can be achieved if it’s done properly. The first part of making a good Risotto is the rice. You need a short grain, Italian rice called Arborio. There are a couple of different kinds of Arborio and I prefer one called Carnaroli. This variety gives you an extended time between reaching done and edging into overdone. It also has a higher starch content which makes the risotto creamier.


This picture is what a finished risotto looks like. That creamy texture is NOT from added cream, it’s just from the long process of slowly adding liquid and stirring to develop the rice’s natural starch.

So here’s the basic recipe I use:

1/4 cup minced onion

2 TB olive oil or 1 TB olive oil/1TB butter

2 cups arborio rice

1/2 cup white wine (optional)

5-6 cups stock (kept warm in another pot)

grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot heat the oil (or oil/butter) and add the onion, gently cooking until the onion is translucent. Add the rice to the pot and start stirring. You will be heating the rice until the outside of the grain is translucent but there is still a white core in the center of the grain. At this point add the white wine (or 1/2 cup broth if not using whine) and stir until it is completely absorbed. Next, start adding the broth 1/2 cup to 1 cup at a time. I use a large soup ladle that is probably 6-8oz. After you add a bit of broth keep stirring until the liquid is all absorbed. You will keep doing this until the rice is done. This rice should be slightly al dente. That means, take a little bite and see if it’s still a bit chewy. NOT crunchy, but a little chewy. If it is, it’s done. You will probably have some broth left over but it’s better to have too much instead of not enough. The final touch is to add a bit of grated parmesan cheese for flavor and salt and pepper. This is entirely up to you.

Now, for the wild mushroom part.. I bought five kinds of wild mushrooms, Lion’s Mane, Abalone White, Black Trumpet, Chanterelle and Hedgehog. I sauteed them up the night before and put them in the fridge over night. Then I added them to the rice right at the end to heat up. I used chicken stock for this particular batch but the beauty of risotto is that you can do just about anything with it. Use veggies such as aparagus or broccoli. Seafood like shrimp and scallops… There are all kinds of combinations. The biggest key is to add these things at the end to avoid over cooking and or watering down the rice.

So that’s it. Risotto isn’t that fancy, it just requires some time and patience. 🙂



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