This mushroom risotto has a scarborough fair flair. Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme play a starring role and add a fresh earthiness (is that even possible?) to this risotto. I love mushrooms and could eat this by the bowlful. It’s wonderful as a side dish or as a main course with a big salad. It involves a lot of stirring so I recommend having a big glass of cold white wine ready by the stove; you’ll need some for the risotto anyway. -bvox
Mushroom Risotto with Fresh Herbs
- 2 tablespoons dried shiitake mushrooms (or porcini)
- 5-6 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms, diced (I used portobello and shiitake)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme)
- 6 cups (about) vegetable broth
- 1-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- One white onion, diced finely
- 2 cups arborio rice (don’t rinse!)
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup dry white vermouth
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving (optional)
- Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour in just enough hot water to cover. Leave for about 20 minutes or until softened. Strain them through a small sieve and finely chop them, reserving the soaking liquid.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon of oil together in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté mushrooms until tender and begin to brown, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes. De-glaze the skillet with the vermouth. Stir herbs in and then transfer the mushroom mixture to a medium bowl.
- Heat your stock in a saucepan and keep it on a low simmer and add the reserved the soaking liquid from the shrooms.
- In a large pan, heat a glug of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter and add the onion. Slowly cook without browning them, for at least 10 minutes, and then turn the heat up and add the rice, stirring the rice for about 5 minutes. Add the wine and keep stirring until the liquid has cooked into the rice.
- Add the chopped dried shiitake, a good pinch of salt, some pepper, and your first ladle of hot stock – about 1 cup. Keep stirring until the rice absorbs most of the stock, a good minute. Turn the heat down to a simmer and keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring constantly (keeping a simmer going), allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next.
- Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. This will take about 30 minutes. Stir in sautéed mushroom mixture, taste and adjust seasoning/add more stock if needed.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of butter and a 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese. I would taste it again at this point and adjust seasoning if needed. Transfer risotto to serving bowl or serve in the skillet as I did, with extra parm.