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Porcini Mushroom Risotto

This recipe is originally from Baking A Moment, adapted to South African ingredients and metric measures by Vernon Aspinall.

This classic risotto is elevated by the king of culinary mushrooms, the porcini. A hearty and comforting meal that is full of savoury flavours and creamy texture.

Our dried porcini are available in our online store

Serves 2

Prep Time 20 min, Cook Time 20 min

Porcini Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients

  • 14g dried porcini mushrooms (available here)
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 500ml vegetable stock (Ina Paarman or similar)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 120g fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped (grow your own using our ready-to-fruit grow sticks)
  • 200ml arborio or carnaroli (risotto) rice (from some Superspars or Food Lovers Market)
  • 100ml dry white wine (Chenin Blanc or similar)
  • 50g freshly grated parmesan rind (or similar local hard cheese)
  • 1 or 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (cut about 100 – 150mm long)
  • 1 tsp salt (divided)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 30ml fresh cream
  • Some freshly grated parmesan (for garnish)
  • A few drops of truffle oil (optional garnish)
  • Fresh herbs, such as chives (optional garnish)

Requirements

  • 3 pots – one small, one medium, and one large
  • Spatula or wooden spoon
  • Mesh bag or cheesecloth bag (to keep the rosemary sprigs from breaking up)

Method

  1. Finely chop the dried porcinis, then place them in a small pot with the boiling water, cover, and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the stock in a medium pot until steaming.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil into a large pot and place over medium heat.
  4. Sauté the onion in the hot oil until slightly softened, then add the fresh mushrooms and rice, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and stir.
  5. Cook the mixture for a few minutes, stirring, until the rice starts to look translucent around the edges.
  6. Stir in the wine, allowing the mixture to simmer.
  7. When most of the liquid has been absorbed, stir in the softened porcinis and water mixture.
  8. Add the parmesan rind and the rosemary sprigs (in mesh bag or similar).
  9. Allow the mixture to cook, stirring, until most of the liquid is absorbed, then add one ladle of hot stock.
  10. Continue to cook, stirring, adding more stock once the last addition has been mostly absorbed.
  11. When all the stock has been added, taste the risotto. The rice should be firm: not hard or chalky and not too mushy*, season as needed, and lastly stir in the cream.
  12. Serve the mushroom risotto in bowls, garnished with grated parmesan, an optional drizzle of truffle oil, and/or an optional pinch of fresh herbs.

Recipe Notes:

  • A great risotto can never be rushed – frequent stirring and medium heat are the only way for the rice to release its starches, and become soft and creamy.
  • If the rice is still hard or chalky, continue to add small quantities of boiling water, stirring until soft.

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