I fell in love with mushroom risotto while dining at Villa Romana Restaurant at Lygon Street in Melbourne. As a student to eat at Villa Romana was expensive and a rarity, I think I only dined there 3 times in 5 years of my student life. We had gone there for a special occasion, two of my friends were moving back to India after finishing their study. It was a funny thing, we (my housemate and I) lived in Carlton right across Lygon St and ate there often but kept to the restaurants and cafes on the left hand side as they were cheaper. The right hand side ones were more expensive and so we never really dined there. Since it was a special occasion it warranted we dine at a restaurant on the right side, it was such a treat to be eating a dish that costed $22 (we only ever ate $8-$10 meals) The risotto was delicious, I still remember the poor waiter had to stand at our table grinding pepper for what seemed like 20 minutes. What can I say, I like my pepper. I only wish I knew how to cook risotto then, it seemed so exotic and difficult at the time, that way I would have gotten to eat it more often. Anyways I am sharing my mushroom risotto recipe with you, hope you enjoy it :-) Any leftovers ? Turn them into crispy arancini balls, find recipe here.
Recipe Print RecipeServes 2-3
1 cup Arborio Rice
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
4 cups Vegetable or Mushroom stock
1 tbsp Olive oil
a few dried Porcini mushrooms-soaked in hot water (optional)
250 g Fresh Assorted mushrooms ( I used cup, enoki and oyster)
1 large Onion - chopped
6-7 Garlic cloves- finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp Thyme leaves
Ground Black pepper
2-3 knobs of butter (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the chopped onions once the oil is heated. Saute the onions till they are translucent. Add the chopped garlic and saute till the raw garlic smell disappears. Do not let the onion and garlic brown, saute on a med-low flame. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes.
Add the rice and give it a good mix so that the rice is coated in the oil and onion-garlic mixture. now pour the wine into the pan and let the alcohol evaporate. Add the thyme leaves and give it a good stir.
Squeeze the liquid out of the porcini mushrooms and add the brown mushroom flavoured liquid it was soaking in to the pan. This will give an intense mushroom flavour.
|Soaked Porcini mushrooms|
Now start adding the stock to the rice one ladle at a time and let the rice absorb the liquid before adding more. Continue adding the stock till the rice is cooked but not mushy ( it should still have a little bite to it)
Now add a few knobs of butter to it and squeeze the lemon juice into it right before serving. Add some fresh parsley, black pepper and give it a good mix. Serve with a few parmesan shavings on top.