Recently, I ended up with four types of mushrooms in my pantry and fridge, so I knew I had to put them to good use. Grab some aromatic herbs and you’ve got this delicious recipe for Wild Mushroom Risotto that everyone will love and it’s simple enough to make on a weeknight, or save it for the weekend as a dish to impress friends and family!
Love or Hate?
Mushrooms, you love them or hate them. If you hate them, skip this post – there’s thousands of other recipes on this site that don’t contain mushrooms for your delight.
But if you love them, this Wild Mushroom Risotto recipe is the one for you. Like the restaurants make it, but simpler and just as delicious.
What are the mushrooms I used in this recipe?
Baby portobellos, shiitake, hen of the woods, and truffles. Yes, Italian truffles! As you know, I work in a restaurant and my chef somehow ordered one too many truffles and asked me if I wanted to take one home. HOW LUCKY am I?! Of course, I beamed him a smile and said yes chef! So that single truffle got me thinking of ways I could create a recipe that could include the truffles but at the same time stand on its own without it. And this recipe does just that – you can make this recipe with whatever kinds of mushrooms you have available to you – I suggest two varieties at least, for that delicious umami flavor.
My Secret to Flavorful Risotto
Here’s the thing about mushroom risotto – I don’t want it to be white. I want it to be golden dark, because mushroom risottos that are white with a few mushrooms speckled around just tell me that the mushrooms were cooked and added at the end, unlike what I do which is deeply caramelize the mushrooms at the beginning and use that as my base for my risotto.
When I say deeply caramelize, I MEAN IT! You need to cook these mushrooms with the herbs, onions, and garlic, in butter and olive oil for over 30 minutes over medium high heat. Yes, medium high. My husband always says I cook at one speed (HIGH HEAT ALWAYS) and sure I’ve burnt a few things here and there, but I’m on the side that high heat = more caramelization = more flavor. Thus, that’s why we do it. Do NOT cook risotto in a nonstick pan, there’s no point, you won’t get any caramelization happening.
You can use this tip for any type of risotto you make – making sure to caramelize and spend time at the beginning drawing out flavors and creating umami, is always worth it in the end dish!
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- ½ pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- ½ pound hen of the woods mushrooms, sliced
- 1 spring of each: thyme, rosemary, sage
- 1 cup white wine (I used non-alcoholic wine)
- 1½ cups arborio rice
- 4 cups stock (vegetable or chicken), warmed in a pot separately
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ cup half and half
- ½ cup grated aged cheese
- truffle shavings (optional)
- In a large saucepan, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cooking for about ten minutes until aromatic and translucent.
- Add all your mushrooms. If you're using any dried mushrooms, make sure to reconstitute them in water previously or in the warm stock you are using.
- This is where the love is - you are going to spend about 30-45 minutes caramelize the onions, garlic, and mushrooms, alongside the fresh herbs. This cannot be rushed, and you barely have to stir this, because you want to create caramelized bits that stick to the pan that you'll later deglaze.
- Once all of this is golden brown and caramelized, you are going to add 1 cup of white wine (I used non-alcoholic wine, you can use stock as well) and scrape all the flavor from the pan.
- Add your arborio rice and start cooking it by adding hot stock in ½ cup increments.
- Yes, it takes effort to make risotto, but it's well worth it. Keep stirring and adding stock.
- Once all the stock is added, remove the springs of herbs, season to taste, and add the half & half and the cheese.
- Serve immediately with truffle shavings and more cheese.
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE? I want to see it! Follow Cooking with Books on Instagram, take a photo, and tag me in it. I love to know what you are making and how you made this recipe your own!