I made this mushroom risotto the night it snowed in Austin... which doesn't happen very often.
Risotto doesn't happen very often around here either so it felt fitting...
The last time I made risotto I remember being in our little kitchen in our condo. Long before kids, newly married, sipping a glass of wine, leisurely stirring, probably dancing... when I used to cook "for fun."
This is definitely not a meal that I'd plan to cook on a Wednesday when you just want to get dinner on the table.
This is more of a weekend, I got nothing but time, sort of venture in the kitchen.
Hard as these last several months have been living in a pandemic, that's one of those silver linings I've found. It's gotten me to slow down a little bit and do things - make things - like this...
BTW, like all my recipes (minus that last risotto) this is a dairy-free and much simplified version of mushroom risotto. Of course you can always add your own butter and cheese but you won't see them here... you've been warned. 😉
OK, so I've been sorta obsessed with mushrooms lately (if you couldn't already tell from this one) and have been putting them in and on everything...
The way this mushroom risotto turned out reminds me of the mushroom rice we used to have when we were kids. You know those Uncle Ben's rice boxes that came in different flavors?
I loved the mushroom one... which was odd because if I saw a mushroom when I was a kid, apparently I burst into tears.
Next time I make this I'll probably make it a side instead of a main like we did on that snowy night. In the moment it was perfect to satisfy that craving for warm comfort food. So if that's what you're in for - go for it.
This would also go great alongside some lemon chicken and a fresh salad or simple green veggies like broccoli.
The mushroom risotto is so flavorful you don't need mush else so can keep it simple.
Benefits of Mushrooms
I'm not sure exactly what turned me on to mushrooms, but now they're a regular staple of my grocery list.
With some dark leafy greens and a little onion, you've got one of the quickest and healthiest weeknight meals you can make.
Mushrooms are one of the most powerful healing foods on the planet.
They're a staple of Chinese medicine and have been used for thousands of years to treat everything from viruses to tumors.
There are more than 200 varieties used medicinally with different powers and properties. But even the most common of mushrooms will do your body good.
Generally, mushrooms are natural immune boosters and also work in the body to help regulate inflammation.
I'm talking about the kind of inflammation that can exist and linger at low levels in the body and contribute to all sorts of diseases, like heart disease and Alzheimer's.
Mushrooms are aromatase inhibitors which means they help balance the level of estrogen in the body, essentially helping to prevent certain estrogen-related cancers, like breast cancer.
In the world we live in today, where we come into contact with estrogens regularly from plastic bottles and containers, and added soy in so many foods, mushrooms work to block it.
They're also high in vitamins and minerals that are critical to cell and immune function - selenium, riboflavin, niacin, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and manganese.
Superpowers aside, mushrooms are incredibly flavorful and add a richness to whatever it is that you're cooking - like this risotto.
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 20 oz mushrooms, chopped (I like using portobellos or baby bellas, can use any type you like)
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup arborio rice (or white rice)
- 4-6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- sea salt
- black pepper
- Put broth in a sauce pan and heat until hot.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat and add mushrooms, cook until most of their juices have cooked off (about 10 minutes) and they've shrunken down quite a bit. Transfer from pan to bowl and set aside.
- Heat another 1 tbsp oil over medium heat and add shallot. Cook about 3-5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add rice and cook a few minutes until starting to brown. Add ½-1 cup of broth and stir while it absorbs. When it's absorbed, add another ½-1 cup and stir while absorbs. Continue adding broth a little at a time while rice absorbs the liquid, story continuously.
- When done, season with salt and pepper and serve.