Wild Mushroom Risotto
Risotto is one of my favorite examples of something simple that
is consistently overcomplicated. Besides unnecessarily precise
measurements, to read some recipes and instructions, you'd think
that making risotto is a mystical ritual. The result is that
risotto becomes a special occasion dish when it's really a
wonderful meal to make anytime.
Take the measurements below as a guide. The exact amount of
water or broth you use is up to you. It really doesn't matter. If
you like a soupier risotto, you use a little more. If you like it
drier, you use less. It really is that simple. And cheese, it's
like adding cream to coffee, there is no universal "right"
This serves 2, maybe 3, people as a main dish.
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 4 T. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- First thing is to start rehydrating the dried mushrooms. Put
them in a pan with the broth and water on a back burner. Keep the
burner low so the broth just steams. Remember, porcini always have
some sand, so don't stir this up a lot or ladle out the grit on the
bottom of the pan.
- Meanwhile, chop the onion and sauté it in oil (4 T.
might seem like a lot, but you want enough to coat the rice). When
it begins to brown, add the garlic and rice. Stir for a minute or
two until the rice becomes translucent and you can see its
- Ladle about 1/2 cup of mushroom broth into the rice and adjust
the burner under the rice so the broth just simmers—you don't
want it to instantly go up in steam. Stir. When most of the broth
is absorbed, add another ladleful. Keep this cycle up.
- Pretty soon a sort of gravy will develop. Each addition of
broth will thin the gravy, but then it'll thicken up again. When
you can see the bottom of the pan as you stir, it's time to add
- After 15 minutes or so, when the mushrooms are soft, scoop them
out with a slotted spoon, chop them up and add them to the rice.
Also, grate about a cup of cheese and set it aside. (You aren't a
slave to the stirring. You can step away and wash lettuce for a
salad or set the table. Just come back before the rice sticks to
- When the rice is done—this can take about half an
hour—stir in some cheese. It will take a minute or so to
really melt. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve. Offer extra
cheese on the side.
- Pockets with Tomato Mushroom Filling
- Bread Dough Tips
- Wild Mushroom Risotto
More John Ryan recipes in the Just Good Food Archive
More Risotto recipes in Pasta, Risotto and You
This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007