It’s that time of the year when we crave comfort food and warming recipes. In Tuscany, the fall is perhaps the most exciting season for foodies as nature unfurls the first pressing of peppery green-gold olive oil and porcini mushrooms pop up on damp earth. This delicious Porcini Mushroom Risotto recipe from Curious Appetite’s Gourmet Club by food writer and food tour host Coral Sisk is the perfect way to soothe your soul and tantalize your taste buds.
Recipe: Porcini mushroom risotto
Serves 3 hungry eaters, or 4 modest appetites
Good butter and good extra-virgin olive oil
20g dried porcini mushrooms
1 medium white onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, chopped
300g Carnaroli rice
125ml dry white wine
200g fresh porcini mushrooms or other field mushrooms
700ml hot vegetable stock (keep the broth simmering on the stove while you add it to the rice to ensure even cooking of the risotto)
finely chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to serve
Place the dried porcini mushrooms in a small bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak and soften for 15 minutes.
Drain, reserving the liquid, and finely slice the mushrooms. Set aside.
Heat 4 tablespoons of butter (optional: half butter and half olive oil) in a heavy based casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and chopped garlic, sprinkle with a dash of salt (but not too much since you have broth and cheese in next steps) and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent and soft (4-5 minutes).
Add the rice and toast for 2-3 minutes, careful not to burn.
Pour in the wine and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and you can no longer smell the alcohol (2 minutes).
Add the fresh and dried mushrooms, along with the reserved porcini soaking liquid and stir to combine. Begin adding the vegetable stock a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously between additions until most of it is absorbed before adding the next. Repeat until rice is al dente (no longer chalky, but still has a bite to it). Usually 18-20 minutes but taste along the way, adding salt along the way only if it needs it.
If you like, add in an additional knob of butter and a handful of grated parmigiano-reggiano to finished risotto while still in pot and gently fold in. If you do this, you may not need to grate more cheese atop finished product.
Season to taste (salt and/or Parmigiano Reggiano) and serve the risotto and sprinkle chopped parsley atop. The final dish should be loose and creamy, not stiff or soupy.
The fall-themed box from Curious Appetite’s Gourmet Club includes organic Tuscan-made artisanal ingredients such as organic carnaroli rice, grown in Tuscany, Tuscan pecorino and Tuscan extra-virgin olive oil to make this recipe at home with a regional twist.