Wild Mushroom Risotto

This is such a busy time at the farm! As soon as we had the vegetable garden in, it was time to trim the lilacs, top dress the perennial beds and start mowing the pastures. The farmer next to us will harvest the hay from our southern pastures in early August. He keeps horses for his three grand daughters. His horses live off of the hay from his land and ours all winter.

Most of our pasture land is to the west. You can not see them from the house so most people don’t even know they are there. Whenever people come to visit, we usually take them for a ride on our ATV’s. It is beautiful to ride through rolling meadow land.

Last summer was the first time the pastures had been mowed in five years so they were filled with two to three-foot high alders. It took Ralph and I a week of nine hour days to finish. We would spell each other at three hour intervals. We were really saddle sore!

Today I did the front pasture which faces east. It was lovely sitting on my tractor, smelling the freshly cut sweet grass and hay and enjoying the sun. Last year the same pasture took me six hours. This year, I finished in three. I love progress!

With all of the time that I am spending outside, I try to come up with yummy meals that do not require me to be inside for very long. Risotto is one of those dishes that, once mastered, you’ve got it for life. I have been served many a glutenous mass masquerading as risotto. When prepared properly, risotto is one of my favorite meals. For this recipe I used a combination of fresh cultivated mushrooms and dried wild mushrooms and the result was awesome.

Once you have the technique down, the combination of ingredients is endless. I am sure you will be like me and have it as a staple in your home.

Wild Mushroom Risotto

serves 2 – 3

1 cup Arborio rice

1 shallot, peeled and minced

1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

a handful of dried wild mushrooms, cover with hot broth and allow to rehydrate…about 20 minutes

4 large white cultivated mushrooms, sliced

4 cups chicken or beef broth, preferably homemade but commercial will still be good!…bring to just before the boil and keep warm.

1/2 cup Reggiano Parmigiano, freshly grated

In a deep skillet, melt butter in olive oil over medium heat.

When butter is frothing add shallots and garlic…saute for 2 minutes stirring constantly.

Add Arborio rice and stir until well coated with butter/oil mixture and kernels are warmed. Heating the rice ensures quick absorption of the broth.

Add hot broth 1/4 cup at a time…stirring gently until broth is incorporated.

Continue until rice is almost al dente…tender to the teeth but not to the gums!

As you are cooking your risotto, saute the cultivated mushrooms in a little olive oil…season with salt and freshly ground pepper

At this point drain the mushroom soaking broth into the risotto…be careful not to pour in any grit from the mushrooms

Add the wild mushrooms to the cultivated mushroom saute.

When risotto is al dente stir in the cheese.

Plate and top with mushroom mixture.

I love this dish! Feel free to add some freshly chopped thyme or Italian parsley as a garnish.

Thanks for reading