Risotto is a really quick and versatile dish, which can make either a beautiful hearty main course, or an indulgent side to a Mediterranean meat/fish. In this version, the roasted mushrooms garnish adds a delicate nutty touch to the dish and elevates it to… something else!
Ingredients (serves 4 as a main)
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
400g risotto rice
1 cup white wine
6 cups hot chicken stock
75g butter, diced
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
300g wild mushrooms (eg. shiitake & oyster), cleaned and sliced
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Pre-heat oil and a knob of butter on low/medium heat in a large non stick heavy bottom pan, add the onion, half the garlic and slowly cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes until nice and soft. In a separate pan, start warming up the chicken stock on medium heat.
2. Turn up the heat and add the rice to the onion mixture and fry until the grains look translucent. Stir in the wine and cook until fully absorbed into the rice. Season with salt & pepper.
3. Start adding the warm stock to the mixture, one ladleful at a time. Carry on adding more as it cooks into the rice, until soft. It should take around 20 minutes.
4. In the meantime, let’s get started on the mushrooms. Pre-heat the oven on medium heat and heat up a bit of oil in a frying pan. Fry the mushrooms with the rest of the garlic, salt and pepper for 3 minutes or until it starts colouring. Transfer to the oven and roast for 6-10 minutes. Chop about half of the amount and mix it into the risotto.
5. Take the risotto off the heat and stir in the rest of the butter (should be around 70g) and chopped parsley. Mix well. Stir in the chopped mushrooms and lemon juice. Finally, add the Parmesan and season to taste. If it looks a bit too dry, add a bit more stock at that stage to make it really creamy.
6. Serve with a garnish of the remaining roasted mushrooms.
There are countless variants of risotto, some with meat (chicken, bacon), some with seafood (mussels, prawns) and some with vegetables (Asparagus, pumpkin)… for which the base recipe can still be used, but just bring in the extra ingredients (cooked & seasoned) at stage 4.