Recently, a close friend of mine visited from France and as she left our lovely campus before celebrating her 21st birthday, an American landmark, we decided to celebrate it a few months late with a fancy dinner and framboise lambic. One roommate prepared an excellent salad and chicken dish, but as another roomie is a vegetarian, I made a risotto dish that could double as a main and a side in order to keep everyone satisfied. It was altogether adorable – we all sat at our little round table in the kitchen, with “fancy” plates and wine glasses, noshing away like the dignified college students we are. :)
4 tbsp butter
1 1/2 lbs wild mushrooms (I used regular mushrooms this go-around, as that’s all I had in the fridge. One and a half Trader Joe’s packages. :) )
7 cups vegetable broth
3 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/4 cups arborio rice
1/2-3/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Melt 2 tbsp butter to a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the pan is nice and hot (and the butter is beginning to brown), add about 1/2 the mushrooms and cook until tender and slightly brown. I like to put them in the pan in slices, and then quarter them about halfway through cooking.
I find that this releases more water from the mushrooms and helps them cook better. Transfer mushrooms to a medium bowl. Continue (adding butter !) until mushrooms are all cooked and sprinkle with rosemary.
Add olive oil to a large saucepan – I recommend using the SAME PAN as the mushrooms as it will add lots of delicious flavor to the risotto – and sprinkle with salt. Add the onions and cook until translucent and tender.
Add the rice, stirring until toasted (it will turn somewhat clear and a few grains will have a light brown color.) Add the broth and continue to stir stir stir. I usually just add broth until the rice is tender, but 7 cups should be enough.
Add the broth one cup (or so) at a time, and remember to KEEP. STIRRING. This is very important – if you stop, you could burn the rice, and that would be ever so disappointing, wouldn’t it ?
When the rice is about halfway cooked (you’ll have maybe 2ish cups of broth left), add the mushrooms. Once the broth is out, the rice is essentially cooked, add the wine and the parmesan cheese and rosemary/salt/pepper/seasonings that you enjoy.
Stir stir stir until the cheese is all melted and serve ! Pairs very well with chicken and a glass of white wine – or as a dish on its own. :)
Bon appétit !