Wild Mushroom Risotto


wild mushroom risotto1

Have I mentioned that I love mushrooms? (Joking) Seriously, the first time I made this recipe, I approached it bravely, not realizing how much time it takes to successfully prepare risotto.  I remember thinking as I was incorporating the final addition of the liquid that I would never make the recipe a second time because I was tired of stirring!  Then I tasted it and I never complained again.

The beauty of this dish is it can be served as a side dish with just about any protein, or served as a main entrée.  The ‘meatiness’ of the mushrooms and the heartiness of the rice won’t make you miss having a protein on your plate.  Pair it with a salad, pop a bottle of wine and dinner is served!

And speaking of wine, mushroom risotto compliments both red and white wines.  I usually serve a Chianti or Sangiovese for the reds, or a lightly oaked Chardonnay or Pinot Gris for the whites.

If this recipe sounds familiar to you and you also read my books, you may recall that I featured this recipe in my first novel, “First Sight, A Tori Cooper Novel,” in 2012.   If you haven’t read the book and enjoy the realm of paranormal crime fiction, I invite you to check out my sister site, http://www/readvickistewart.com.


Extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup each, Cremini, Shiitake and Portobello mushrooms, chopped
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
2 cups dry white wine
6 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper


1)  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan and sauté the chopped garlic on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes until toasty.

2) Add the assorted fresh mushrooms to the pan, season with salt and sauté them until they are soft, 3-5 minutes.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

3)  Meanwhile, remove the porcini mushrooms from the soaking liquid, coarsely chop them and add them to the bowl with the other mushrooms.  Skim off the top 2/3 of the soaking liquid to use later and discard the lower 1/3 which will have a lot of the dirt from the dried mushrooms.

4) Heat an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the sauté pan and cook the onions over medium-high heat for 5-8 minutes or until slightly caramelized.  Season the onions with salt and pepper and transfer them to the bowl with the mushrooms.

5) Add the rice to the pan and stir until coated with the oil, adding more oil if needed.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly toasted.

6)  Pour the wine into the pan, stirring frequently until it has absorbed into the rice.

7) Add the reserved mushroom liquid and the chicken stock in one cup increments, stirring frequently, until the liquid has fully absorbed into the rice. Repeat this process until all but one cup of the stock and reserved soaking liquid remain.

8) During the final addition of the liquid, add the reserved mushrooms and onions.  When the stock has absorbed into the rice and the rice is cooked but still “al dente”, remove the pan from the heat.

9) Add the butter and cheese and stir until well combined. Serve immediately.

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