Fall is the time for mushrooms and what better way to honor fungi than with a wild mushroom risotto. Actually, depending upon where you live and the weather, some wild mushrooms have been ripe for the picking for a couple of months now. Whether you forage for your own–as my mother did in Maine for this risotto, or you hunt them down at your local market, their earthiness makes for a risotto that is satisfying enough to serve as a stand alone entree or a wonderful accompaniment to grilled meats.
For this risotto I used black trumpet mushrooms since they were readily available but you can use whatever type of mushrooms you can find. A combination of different varieties is also good.
WILD MUSHROOM RISOTTO
3 cups wild mushrooms, picked over and roughly chopped black trumpet mushrooms
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 small onion, minced
1 ½ cups risotto rice
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium skillet. When the butter has melted add in the mushrooms.
- Saute, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft, about 4-5 minutes. The cooking time will depend upon the variety of mushrooms you have used.
- Remove the pan from the heat and remove the mushrooms from the melted butter. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the vegetable broth and white wine in a medium-sized saucepan set over medium-high heat. Adjust the heat to keep the broth mixture at a low simmer.
- In a large saucepan, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent, approximately 5-6 minutes.
- Add the rice to the onions and stir to combine. Add one ladle of the broth to the pot and stir well.
- Stirring occasionally, continue cooking the rice until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding additional broth.
- Repeat this process until the rice is al dente. You may not need to use all of the broth.
- Add the reserved mushrooms and gently fold to incorporate.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan and mascarpone cheeses.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Serves: 4 as an entree or 6 as a side dish