Porcini Mushroom Risotto
This one is for all you mushroom lovers out there! Porcini mushrooms are prized this time of year. Found at the base of trees in the chestnut or pine forests, they are coveted among foragers. They add a deep earthy, nutty flavor to any dish, but this creamy risotto puts them in the spotlight, with little distraction. Simply top with freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano and a pinch of chopped thyme to add a bright note and you have the perfect meal. Porcini mushroom risotto would make an excellent first course or a vegetarian entree that would not disappoint!To intensify the flavor of the mushrooms, I add a tablespoon of Porcini dust. To make the porcini mushroom dust, add half an ounce of the dried porcini to a food processor and blitz, until it turns to dust and then sift it through a fine mesh strainer. This can be stored for months in an air tight container.Note: Risotto should be served al dente. Be careful not to over cook the rice and serve immediately. As it sits, it continues to absorb liquid and will lose its bite.
- 2 tbspn olive oil
- 1 shallot or 1/2 large onion (about 1/2 cup chopped)
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 ounces dried Porcini mushrooms reconstituted
- 1 tbspn Porcini mushroom dust
- 5 cups Porcini mushroom stock strained
- 1 tspn salt
- 1 tbspn butter
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmiggiano-Reggiano plus more for serving
- 2 tbspns freshly chopped thyme
- Reconstitute the dried Porcini mushrooms by soaking them in 5 cups of warm water for half an hour.
- Strain the soaking liquid through a fine mesh strainer to remove any sediment that settled at the bottom. Reserve the soaking liquid. This will be used as your stock.
- Rinse the mushrooms to get rid of any residual grit.
- Chop the Porcini mushrooms and set aside.
- Add the mushroom stock to a pot, season with salt and warm over low heat.
- In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the shallots and crushed garlic. Cook over medium low heat, stirring often, until the onions have softened.
- Add the rice and cook for a minute until toasted.
- Add white wine to deglaze the pan.
- Simmer until the wine has reduced by half.
- Add the chopped, reconstituted Porcini mushrooms to the pan.
- Add two ladlefuls of stock and stir. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until most of the stock has been absorbed.
- Continue adding stock a couple of ladlefuls at a time until the rice is al dente, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the Porcini dust. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Stir in the butter and Parmiggiano Reggiano.
- Top with freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano and fresh chopped thyme, and serve immediately.