Saturday, September 23, 2006


[Sorry the pics aren't nice and centred, as I like them, but this is the only way I could get them on tonight.]

Though I say it myself I do make a good mushroom risotto so here is the recipe for you:

2 tablesp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bay leaf , dried or fresh
10 oz arborio or other risotto rice - short-grain, at any rate
12 oz sliced mushrooms [mix the types for an interesting result]
rind and juice of 1 lemon, unwaxed if possible
1 pint good chicken or vegetable stock or just hot water [I use the latter]some dried oregano, seasalt and freshly ground black pepper [or ground red pepper, which Sicilians prefer for health reasons]
freshly grated parmesan cheese to serve

Heat the olive oil in a wide pan about 2 inches deep.
Add the garlic, onion and bay leaf. Fry gently for about 3 minutes.
Add the rice and fry for a further 2 minutes or so, stirring all the time.
Stir in the mushrooms, oregano and lemon rind.
Add the lemon juice and about a third of the stock or water.
Stir again, put a lid on the pan and simmer till the liquid is nearly absorbed.
Add the next third of the liquid, stir and let simmer again.
Then likewise for the last third of the liquid.
Stir and season to taste.
To serve, fish out the bay leaf and sprinkle the parmesan over. [Some people like to this whilst the pan is still on the hob. It's up to you.]

This is not authentic but if, as I so often am, you are in need of a little spiced comfort food, you can add some fresh, sliced chilli pepper as I have done here.

You can also add other herbs, such as chopped parsley, but I don't think it's necessary.

This is going to be anathema to Italians but the dish freezes well, provided you cool it quickly. Thaw thoroughly, then reheat in a 150 C oven for 45 - 50 minutes. [You may need to add more water.]

Risotto is served a little "wetter" in Italy than we would expect in the UK. Some British people have told me that they cannot get the right texture when making it: well, it sounds obvious but make sure you are using the right kind of rice; otherwise the whole enterprise is doomed to failure. Make sure that you are using the right sort of pan, too [see above]. Other than that, to me it is perfectly simple: when it comes to adding the liquid, add the first third, stir, turn down the heat, cover, then go away and have a drink. Come back and the liquid will have absorbed. Chuck in the next third of liquid and do the same again, and again with the last third. By the time the risotto is ready, a wonderful smell will permeate your living space and you will be feeling nice and mellow. So put on some Italian music, light a candle and enjoy!


beethoven writes said...

I will attempt this tonight!

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely going to give this a try, I love mushroom risotto.

Btw, I posted comments on your last three posts, hope you received them ok.

Maria said...

I can't wait to try that!
Looks and sounds delicious! ~M

Anonymous said...

Hi, I have just copied this recipie to try out on a veggie friend in the next couple of weeks. I'm now going to tuck into some shoulder of lamb - do you miss the English roastie?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi. I hope it works well for you! No, I don't miss the English roastie but I do miss being able to buy lamb easily. When you do find it, they cut it differently. But I am finding ways round it!


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