Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Mushroom hunting part 2: the ubiquitous wild mushroom risotto

One of the laws of physics states that for every glut of foraged chanterelle mushrooms a risotto must be made. Yep it’s predictable but it is perhaps it is predictable because it is just so good, a classic if you will. I think keeping things simple is the best way to show these bad boys off.

In my defence of being boring I thought I would write a list of other potentially boring but ultimately enjoyable/good things –

            Sunday papers
Hong Kong style sweet and sour chicken
Holidays in France
Radio 4
Stacy from “Gavin and Stacy”

Convinced? Perhaps not but here is my recipe for wild mushroom risotto anyways.

Wild mushroom risotto
Serves 4

300g of risotto rice - arborio, vialone and carnaroli all work well.
2 large onions - finely chopped
2-3 stalk of celery - finely chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
a large glass of white wine
1 small pot of chicken stock (about a litre)  - keep on a rolling boil throughout the cooking process
400g of cleaned wild mushrooms - chanterelles, hedgehogs and ceps work particularly well, cut in halves or quarters if particularly large
1 tub of mascarpone, about 225g
50g of parmesan
a handful of coarsely chopped parsley
salt and pepper
olive oil and butter

Pop some olive oil and butter in a pan and over a low heat cook the onions and celery. Let these soften for the best part of 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and continue cooking for another couple of minutes.
Do not let the onion et cetra go brown, the idea is that it is sweet and translucent.
Season with salt.

Turn up the heat a little and add the rice, cook for a minute stirring all the time.
Do no let the rice go brown as this will reduce the amount of starch you can get out of it.
Once the edges of the rice have gone clear add in the wine.
It should sizzle as it hits the pan, keep stirring until 70% or so of the liquid has been absorbed.
Add one ladle of the stock into the rice at a time, stirring fairly continuously until most of the stock is absorbed before adding the next ladleful.
The more elbow work you put into your risotto the more gooey starchy wonderfulness it will release, this will ensure you have a lovely unctuous risotto.

After about 12 minutes of cooking the rice pop the mushrooms into a frying pan with a little oil and some butter.
Cook until golden and slightly crispy.

When the risotto is a minute off being ready add the parsley, mascarpone and Parmesan.
The rice will take about 16-18 minutes to cook, once al dente add in the mushrooms, perhaps saving a few for looking pretty on top.
Season to taste.



  1. Hello!!? I gotta make this! YUM!! :)

    xx Emily

  2. I've always been abit scared of making risotto and rarely eat one that satisfies. However, this does look wonderful. What other mushrooms would you recommend if there arent any wild ones available? Like the idea of adding mascarpone.

  3. i agree, love rissotto and this sounds great! youre blog is my favourite!! xxx

  4. hey Mandy, you could use chestnut mushrooms with perhaps some thyme to make it a bit more interesting. For better results I would use dried porcini mushrooms which are in most supermarkets. Let them soak before adding them. The good thing is that you can also use the liquid to add extra flavour to the dish.xx