A hotel we stayed in for some days last summer served a few Italian dishes. One night, I ordered a mushroom risotto and did not have more than a couple of bites before the rest of my family plunged into the dish and scarfed it down in no time. We all agreed that the risotto was delicious and it quickly became one of the preferred dishes during our stay.
As a Greek cook, I had never prepared risotto for my family before, so when we got back home I decided to give it a try. I opened my cookbooks and did some online research to come up with a recipe similar to what we had over the summer. I knew that it would be difficult to please my panel of judges, not only did they love it, they ask for it every week!
I used white mushrooms just because the children like them better, but you can use any kind of mushroom like portobellos, shiitakes, creminis or, even better, a combination of many.
To make it creamy, I used a starchy variety of rice, Arborio being the most common and easiest to find. I also followed the number one rule for preparing risotto: slowly adding the fluids.
To make it tasty, I chose very fresh white mushrooms, a good quality white wine and shallots for their distinctive flavor.
To make it vegan, I substituted some of the classic ingredients: Vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, olive oil instead of butter, and I found that for this recipe, the addition of Parmesan cheese was not necessary.
My recipe serves 4 as a first course or as a side dish for meat.
I’m happy to share it with you and I hope you will make it, too. Just be prepared for these weekly requests!
- 1½ cup Arborio rice
- 24 oz (about 700 g) fresh white mushrooms, sliced
- 6 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 2 + 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots (or one medium onion), diced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Flat leaf parsley, minced
- In a medium size sauce pan, bring the broth to a boil and keep hot.
- In a non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and add the mushrooms. Salt & pepper. Cook until soft. Set aside.
- In a medium size sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, add the shallots and stir until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the the wine and stir until absorbed. Start adding the broth ½ cup at a time, stirring continuously and waiting for the fluids to be absorbed before adding another half cup.
- When all the broth has been added and the rice is cooked, add the mushrooms with its liquids, and salt & pepper to taste. Stir gently.
- Serve with minced parsley.