I can't take the summer food any more and had to dive into something rich, warming and earthy. What better way to achieve that than with a rich and creamy risotto featuring portobello mushrooms. Yum!
So, yesterday was another hot day. Yawn. I know it's getting a bit boring. By mid afternoon, I was seriously craving something, anything that was steaming hot and cooked. No, no salads or barbecue foods were going to take that painstakingly notable craving for hot food away. Since it was Tuesday, and that's the day I buy groceries, I had a well stocked fridge. There were ingredients in there to make just about anything. Once upon a time, I use to make a meal plan for the week and buy groceries around that. Now I have reversed the roles, by shopping and making the meal plan out of what I have. I like the flexibility and freedom it allows. That being said, I quite often have a vague idea how I am going to use what I buy. Risotto was on my mind in the supermarket, just wasn't sure exactly what type. The spinach had intentions for lasagne and the mushrooms just looked good. That's how it rolls sometimes.
Note: Portobello mushrooms are not too different to any other white mushrooms or button mushrooms. They are from the same family, just a bit more mature lets say. Because of their maturity, they do have a slightly stronger flavour which works really well in this risotto.
Making risotto isn't rocket science. If you keep a few things in mind, you should be well on your way to a rich and creamy risotto to the table in no time at all. 1. Always use good quality stock. As a lot of stock is used, make sure the one you are using is worthy of your dish. So, no stock cubes. If you don't want to make your stock, you can usually buy quality stock in cartons. Try this and you will note a difference. 2. Make sure all ingredients are chopped, grated, heated and ready to go. With risotto, timing is everything and you don't want to be at a stage to add an ingredient and you haven't already chopped or peeled it. So, have everything ready before you start. 3. Keep stirring the risotto. This is key so it doesn't stick and the rice cooks evenly. Stirring and gradually adding stock as the risotto cooks, will ensure even cooking an a creamy texture.
Risottos are at their absolute creaminess as soon as you take them off the stove top. It isn't a good idea to cook this and wait a while to serve it. Otherwise, the risotto will dry out and go quite stodgy. So keep this in mind, if you haven't made risotto before and think that maybe it is like some other rice dishes.
Portobello Mushroom & Spinach Risotto
Serves 6 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Cook time: 40 minutes
2 Cups/220 grams portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 Cup/225 grams fresh baby spinach
4 Cups/1 litre of vegetable stock, (more if necessary)
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 Cups/325 grams arborio rice
3/4 Cup/180 ml white wine
1 Cup/100 grams freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
Small bunch of fresh chopped parsley
Salt to taste
Bring stock to simmer in medium saucepan over low heat. Cover and keep warm.
In a large stainless steel pot set over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoon of olive oil and heat for about 30 seconds. Add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Give a good stir and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the additional tablespoon of olive oil along with the rice. Stir until rice is translucent at edges but still opaque in centre, this will only take about 2 minutes.. Add all of the wine, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 cup warm stock and stir. Continue to stir until the liquid has absorbed, about 5 minutes, and then add another cup of warm stock. Stir until absorbed and add another cup of stock, about another 5 minutes. Stir and add 1/2 cup stock and let absorb, about 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of stock with the parmesan cheese, spinach and parsley. Stir well and leave to simmer for about 2 minutes. Season with a little salt, stir and remove from heat.
Transfer risotto to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with a little parsley and serve immediately.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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