The Accidental Locavore bought a beautiful bunch of wild mushrooms and some nice fat asparagus at the Rhinebeck Farmers’ Market recently. What better way to show them off than in a beautiful risotto? We also had some mixed dried mushrooms, so they got added to the mix. What’s good about using the dried ones too is that you can use the soaking liquid as part of the broth for the risotto (just be sure to strain it first – a coffee filter will work fine for that). This easily fed 4.
- Olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 pound mixed mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and sliced into ½” strips
- Salt & pepper
- ½ cup dried mushrooms (like porcini)
- 1 pound asparagus, cut into 1” pieces
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3-4 cups chicken stock, hot
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan
Soak the dried mushrooms in very hot water for about 20 minutes until they are pliable. Remove the mushrooms from the liquid and strain the liquid through a fine strainer or a coffee filter. Set the liquid aside.
Add about 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until they turn golden. Remove the garlic from the pan. Add all the mushrooms and the asparagus and season with salt. Saute until the mushrooms are pliable. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add another 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Stirring frequently, cook until they are soft and translucent but are not browning. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, to toast the rice. Add the wine, and stir frequently until it has all been absorbed by the rice. Add enough of the liquid from the mushrooms to cover the rice and stir until that has been absorbed. Add any remaining mushroom liquid and enough of the chicken stock to cover the surface of the rice. Keep stirring until that is absorbed.
Keep adding the stock to cover the rice and stir until it’s absorbed. Depending on your rice, this may be 2 or 3 more times. When you think you’re about to add the last addition of stock, add the mushrooms and asparagus into the pan. When the rice is cooked to “al dente”, remove from the heat and add the butter and cheese. Stir well. The rice should be very creamy. Serve and enjoy!
My verdict: A perfect spring combination! If you wanted to keep this vegetarian, you could easily substitute vegetable broth for the chicken stock. One of the great things about risotto is that almost anything works in it. Because I’ve been trying to keep the salt down, we ended up adding more Parmesan to it as we were eating. What’s that expression about robbing Peter to pay Paul? Just swapping out the “evils.”