“This recipe is a mushroom lover’s dream – bursting at the seams with nutty, woodland richness. Vermouth offsets this with a little sweetness which I really love, and the lemon and parsley give it fresh, zingy lift that contrasts brilliantly with the deep umami flavours.”
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
300g dried mushrooms
200g chestnut mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 shallots, finely chopped
400g arborio risotto rice
1 pint good quality stock (chicken or vegetable)
1/2 pint mushroom liquor
60g Parmesan, grated
Juice of 1 lemon
Small bunch parsley, chopped
1 tbsp porchini mushroom paste (optional)
A large glug of truffle oil
Rehydrate the mushrooms by soaking them in ½ pint of warm water for 20 minutes. When they’ve swelled up and become soft, drain them and keep the brown liquor for later. Roughly chop the mushrooms and put to one side. Next, take the stock and pour it into a pan over a low heat to warm.
To cook the sliced mushrooms, place a thick-bottomed non-stick pan or griddle pan over a very high heat. When the pan is smoking hot, throw in the mushrooms to brown. Toss them regularly to make sure they don’t burn. You’re aiming for a deep, roasted brown colour and crispy edges. When the mushrooms are cooked, remove from the pan and put aside for later.
To start cooking the risotto, first put the butter into a large pan over a medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until the butter has melted, then continue to cook until it starts to foam and turns a nutty brown colour. When the butter has browned, throw in the shallots and add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Stir together and cook the shallots until soft and translucent.
Pour in the rice and stir well, coating the grains in the butter and oil. Cook for a minute until the edges of the rice begin to turn translucent, then add the vermouth. Continue to cook stirring constantly until the vermouth has been absorbed by the rice, then add the mushroom liquor and chopped rehydrated mushrooms. As before, continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the liquor has been absorbed. If you have it, add a tablespoon of porcini mushroom paste at this stage for an extra umami kick.
Repeat this process with the stock, adding it to the pan one ladle-full at a time until the rice is soft with a slight bite left to it. When cooked, remove the pan from the heat and tip in the parmesan and a large knob of butter. Season to taste with sea salt and cracked black pepper and put the lid on the pan and allow to rest for around five minutes.
While the risotto is resting. Combine the sliced mushrooms with the chopped parsley and the juice of one lemon. Season to taste with sea salt and cracked black pepper and toss together with your fingers.
To serve, spoon a generous portion of risotto into a bowl and sprinkle over a little more grated parmesan. Top with a generous handful of the griddled mushrooms and finish with a good drizzle of truffle oil.