Mushroom Risotto

Lest you think the only things I make in my brand new Le Creuset are fat- and flour-laden, I must share with you this recipe for mushroom risotto. Being delicious, easy-to-make, and extremely healthy (and vegan, but please, let’s not dwell on that), this recipe is clearly a standout in my kitchen, where many of the recipes meet two, but rarely all three of those qualities.

Healthy Mushroom Risotto

I’m not quite sure how this risotto manages to be so creamy and hearty—it has none of the butter or cheese of the other risotto recipe I have written up for you. I have heard murmurs from the food science blogging community that this has something to do with the high amount of starch in Arborio rice. Apparently if you break the starches down enough (even if it is just with vegetable stock instead of various fats) it will invariably result in a very pleasing and smooth texture.  Mushrooms and onions add an amazing depth of earthy flavor to this dish, but I can’t wait to experiment with other flavor profiles.

And on the note of experimenting in the kitchen (and shameless self-promotion), I’ll be competing in South Bar’s chili competition this Sunday. I’ll be making (my hopefully soon-to-be famous) Triple B: Beer, Beef, and Bacon Chili. So come by, do some day drinking, and taste many flavorful and amazing chilis!  Recipe for the Triple B coming soon!

Fresh Mushrooms

Mushroom Risotto

Adapted from the Kitchn

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, finely chopped

2 cups boiling water

1/3 cup olive oil

4 medium yellow onions

6 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 pound cremini or similar mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1 spring fresh rosemary (you can also use dried rosemary or not use it)

1 cup Arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Risotto Making

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Soak the dried mushrooms in the water and set them aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Finely chop one of the onions and add to the dutch oven. Add the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, until the onions have softened and begun turning golden brown. Move the onions to one side of the Dutch oven.

Dried Mushrooms

Increase the heat to medium-high, add the cremini mushrooms and let cook for 5 minutes without stirring. Then, flip the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. The mushrooms should be brown and there should be some browning on the bottom of the pan.

Earthy Flavor

Drain the mushrooms that were soaking (hold on to the liquid) and add them to the dutch oven. Add the rosemary and mix everything in the pan together, letting it sauté for a few minutes. Add the rice, and stir occasionally for about 5 minutes, until the rice begins to turn transparent.

Turn the heat to high, and add the vegetable broth, wine, balsamic vinegar, mushroom liquid, salt, and pepper. Stir, and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any of the brown deliciousness that should have formed on the bottom of the dutch oven.

Once the mixture is boiling, cover it with a lid, and put in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. It is ready to be taken out of the oven when it looks like most of the liquids have been absorbed, but it still looks very moist. Remove it from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes before serving.

While the risotto is baking in the oven, prepare the onions. Heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cut the remaining three onions into thin slices, and add to the skillet. Sprinkle them with salt liberally, and reduce the heat to low. Let the onions cook for at least 30 minutes, until they are very soft and turning brown.

Preglazed Onions

Spoon the onions over the risotto. Voila!


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