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Wild Mushroom Risotto

by Caren McSherry
This northern Italian classic is not difficult to master once you wrap your head around the fact that it takes time.  Constant stirring it critical to a creamy risotto that brings delicious results.


  • 1 cup dried wild mushrooms, such as cepes, porcini or morels
  • 6 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock (maybe more if required)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced fine
  • 2 cups Arborio rice, Canaroli or Vialone Nano
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese


1. Heat the stock and maintain a low heat during the entire process.
2. Place the dried mushrooms in a large bowl and cover completely with hot water.  Let this sit for at least 30 minutes, this process re constitutes the mushrooms.
3. While the mushrooms are soaking, place the butter and onion in a heavy bottomed pot with the heat on medium, do not brown the onion, just soften. Add the rice to the pot and and cook on medium heat until the rice becomes translucent, this will take about 3-5 minutes. Take care not to brown. Add the wine all at once and stir until the wine is completely absorbed into the rice.
4. Begin adding the hot stock one ladleful at a time stirring after each addition. Only add the next ladle of stock when the previous one is absorbed. When you are about half way through, gather the soaking mushrooms and squeeze out all the moisture, chop fine and add to the rice. Do not discard the soaking liquid as it has great flavour, add a ladle of this part way through for an extra boost.
5. Continue adding the hot stock and stir. This process will take about 40 minutes, certainly worth the effort. Give the risotto a taste, it should not have resistance, but be creamy and smooth. Al Dente is not what you want, creamy and smooth is the goal.
6. When the rice is cooked, stop adding stock, toss in the 2 tablespoons of butter and stir in the cheese.
7. Serve immediately and remember risotto waits for no one, you wait for risotto!
Serves 4-6


Copyright (c) Caren McSherry 2002
Filed Under: risotto, wild mushroom, main, Italy,
Wild Mushroom Risotto

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