It's October. It's chilly. The days are getting cut shorter and shorter. My yoga instructor told us to not eat cold or raw foods, so what's better than a little Italian comfort food?
Does anyone else nest when the weather gets cooler? After months (or rather, years) of my mom and sister trying to persuade me to learn how to knit, I've done it... and I'll admit I've become *slightly* obsessed!
So cozy up by the fireplace, put on some (er, Christmas?) tunes, take out your favorite seasoned Dutch oven and get cookin'!
Portobello mushroom and shallot risotto
2 TBSP unsalted butter
⅓- ½ cup chopped shallots
2 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed, chopped into ½ inch cubes
1 cup Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
About 3 cups organic vegetable broth, or homemade
½ cup grated Parmesan (2 oz)
1 TBSP butter, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 TBSP chopped fresh basil
Bring stock to a simmer in a small saucepan; lower heat to low to keep warm while you prepare the risotto.
Melt the 2 TBSP butter in a deep, heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and shallots and sauté about 5 minutes, just until mushrooms start to juice. (Alternatively, if you'd like to caramelize the shallots, cut them into thin slices, then add them alone to the melted butter and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes before adding the mushrooms). Add rice and stir for about 1 minute to toast.
Add wine and stir in; simmer until absorbed. Add warm broth, about ½ cup at a time, stirring to blend, waiting until it's absorbed to add more. Stop the additions when the risotto is creamy but is still just a tad chewy. Stir in the Parmesan and extra TBSP of butter, if using. Season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the basil and serve!
A note on the ingredients: risotto is very flexible. Don't have portobellos? Experiment with other types of mushrooms. Don't have wine? Use water or another liquid. There are many substitutions you can make here!