If you hate mushrooms, look away now. This is a celebration of the mushroom in probably my favourite form: a risotto. The layering of flavours here results in an earthy, savoury dish of rice that enriches the heart and tastes of pure luxury.
The key to a creamy, tasty risotto is to give that rice a good bashing. Stir aggressively, so that the starch comes away from the surface. This forms the creamy consistency of a perfect risotto. That, and the beating in of butter at the final stage, before letting it rest a moment.
Mushroom risotto (serves 2):
1 onion, finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
4 spilling handfuls of arborio risotto rice
2 garlic cloves, minced
A glass of white wine
200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced. Reserve the stalks
8 dried porcini mushrooms
1 sprig of rosemary
1 litre (maybe more or less) good vegetable stock
Couple of knobs of butter
25g parmesan, finely grated
Few drops of truffle oil
- Get the stock on to simmer. Add the rosemary, mushroom stalks and porcini mushrooms.
- Gently fry the onions and celery in a little oil until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for another couple of minutes to soften.
- Turn the heat up and add the rice and garlic, stirring the whole time to toast the outer surface of the rice without burning. After a minute add the wine and deglaze the pan with it.
- Add the stock a ladleful at a time, taking care not to add the stalks or porcini. Each time stir the rice well and don’t add any more liquid until the previous one has been absorbed.
- After about 15 minutes of adding stock taste the rice for doneness. You want something squishy but not complete mush. At that point turn the heat off and beat the parmesan and butter into the rice. Taste, adjust the seasoning and let stand for a minute or two.
- Serve by adding a couple of drops of truffle oil and garnish with the chopped porcini.