Mushroom risotto

My children don’t like mushrooms, so finding ourselves alone for the week recently, my husband and I enjoyed plenty of the little fungi!

I made this dish with some sandwich chicken I had in the fridge, but if you left the meat out, this would be a very satisfying vegetarian dish.  If you went one step further and left out the parmesan cheese (I am sure there are vegan substitutes) this would even be vegan, but I really do like the parmesan cheese.  This dish will serve four comfortably.  Including time spent chopping the mushrooms, you can have this on the table less than half an hour after starting to cook.

Mushroom risotto

Mushroom risotto

1 tbsp olive oil;

1 brown onion, finely chopped (or you could cheat and use onion flavoured olive oil as I have been known to do);

2 cloves of garlic, very finely chopped;

400g mushrooms (here I have used the white button type, but I have also used portobello with this recipe), sliced;

Pinch of salt;

500g arborio rice;

5 – 6 cups of stock (I used vegetable, but you could use chicken if you have it, beef would be too strong) – keep your stock warm throughout;

6 slices sandwich meat (chicken or ham) chopped finely (optional);

1/2 cup grated parmesan;

Chopped parsley, to serve.


Use a large heavy based pan with plenty of stirring room!

Heat the oil, fry the onions and garlic until slightly softened.  Add the mushrooms and the salt, you want to encourage the mushroom liquid to ooze out as soon as possible.  Stir until the mushrooms are slightly softened and some liquid has come out of the mushrooms, then add the rice and stir to combine.  Add a cup of stock and stir until it is well combined.

Risotto purists will tell you that you need to constantly stir, but I will move around the kitchen doing other things and just stir frequently, instead of constantly.  The main thing is that you don’t let the rice stick to the bottom of the pan, so don’t forget the risotto.  As the first cup of stock is absorbed, add another half cup or so, stirring well until the liquid is absorbed between each addition. After you have used 5 cups, toss in the sandwich meat and taste, adjusting with salt and pepper to taste.  At this point (the rice should have been cooking for around 15 minutes at this stage), I taste a couple of grains of rice to see if it is soft enough.  The last bit is judgement, add a little more liquid if you need it, then when you think enough has been added, stir through the parmesan, switch off the heat and put the lid on the pot.  Leave to sit for five minutes then dust with chopped parsley and serve.

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