If there is one thing. . .
. . . that says fall. . .
. . . it is. . .
. . . mushroom. . .
. . . risotto.
With so many great photos of fall fungi in our recent nature walks, I just had to search out the edible kind at the farmers market over the weekend and make a batch of mushroom risotto. Not only was it terribly tasty, I think it might be just the ticket for a Thanksgiving side that could also double as a great main course for the vegetarians in my life. Oh is it good.
- 1/2 pound porcini or cremini mushrooms sliced (reserve stems and extra pieces for the broth)
- 1-2 clusters of brown clamshell mushrooms (optional but recommended)
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1 quart vegetable broth
- 1 medium onion
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1/4 cup Flat leaf parsley chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for garnish
- white wine
- 1-1/2 cups of bread
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- anchovies (optional)
Heat up your vegetable broth to a low simmer and add the leftover mushroom stalks to the broth (this will impart more mushroom flavor).
While the broth is heating up, chop the onion into a 1/4" dice and saute with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. When the onion begins to become translucent, add the 3/4 of the porcini and a sprig of thyme and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the arborio, and toast the rice in the pan with the vegetables for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 cup of white wine and cook off for a minute or two before adding two ladles full of broth to the pan. Allow theses to absorb before adding more. Continue this process until the rice is tender but still has a little bite. If you find that you are running out of liquid, you can add a bit of water to the broth, just make sure to bring it back to a simmer before adding it to the risotto.
While the risotto is cooking, toss the bread and olive oil into a food processor and pulse until it has a consistent crumb size. Toast this in a pan on the stove top until the crumbles are nicely golden all the while seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. The original recipe for this savory crumble via Jamie Oliver calls for anchovies (you pulse them in with the bread crumbs), and if you're not vegetarian I would recommend using them (just add 2-3). When the bread crumbs are golden, set them aside.
In a separate pan, saute the remaining porcini and the brown clamshells with a sprig of thyme and pad of butter until they are tender and look delicious. Set aside.
When the risotto is ready, mix in the Parmesan cheese, parsley, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
Serve immediately with a sprinkling of the toasted breadcrumbs, freshly grated Parmesan, and sauteed mushrooms on top.
*Last time in Recipes: Persimmon Tart