I woke up Saturday morning thinking about what I was going to make for dinner. 8 am … I was thinking about dinner (per usual). A quick tidying up of the apartment, and off to the farmers market. Boyfriend, coffee, and dog in tow (still thinking about dinner).
The second I gazed upon these gorgeous cremini mushrooms, I knew mushroom risotto was going on my dinner menu for the evening. It was a natural choice (given that I was still thinking about dinner).
When at the Chicago Green City Farmers Market, the River Valley Ranch mushroom tent is a must stop. The creminis have a woodsy flavor, they’re firm, and they’re easy to clean. I combined them with dried mushrooms to achieve a well balanced, shroom-sentric dish. I also achieved an inability to stop eating it.
Risotto is time consuming to make. Stick with it and drink some wine during the process. The return on your time investment is well worth it. I clearly crave comfort food even when it’s 80 degrees and humid. So, when I wake up with dinner on my mind, a piping hot bowl of carbs will do just fine.
- 1 ounce dried mushrooms (I used a mixed variety)
- 4 cups chicken stock, divided
- 3 tbsp butter, divided
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2/3 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Salt & freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Bring 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock to a boil. Add the dried mushrooms to a bowl and cover with the boiling stock. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
In a medium size stockpot, melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms and saute until they are cooked through and have released their moisture, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
By this time, the dried mushrooms should be reconstituted and soft. Remove them from the stock and squeeze them over the bowl to release extra moisture. Reserve all of the liquid.
Chop the reconstituted mushrooms into bite sized pieces and add them to the stockpot.
In another pot, add the remainder 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock and the liquid the dried mushrooms reconstituted in. Bring to a simmer and reserve. Keep warm!
Add the arborio rice to the mushroom mixture and toast until it starts to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine, being sure to scrape any tasty bits off the bottom of the pan, and cook – stirring constantly until the wine has been absorbed.
Add the reserved stock 1/2 cup at a time to the rice and mushroom mixture. Stir until each half cup has been absorbed; continue the process until all of the stock has been used. You will want the mixture to maintain a slight boil as it cooks. This will take some time, so be patient! The risotto should be slightly firm and creamy, not mushy.
Add the remaining 1 tbsp butter, parmesan cheese, lemon zest, salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Stir until the cheese has melted. Taste for seasoning, add additional salt if needed, and garnished with fresh parsley. Serve immediately.
Servings: 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side dish