It has been a long winter… Cold crispy nights still linger across the Kalahari savannas and silently cover the landscape with frost. The evenings call for a blazing fireplace and special family dinners with candles burning deep into the night. Deep conversations about the times we live in, the challenges we are all facing and the unknown of a ‘new normal’. This is the time to warm our hearts with love and hope and live expectantly.
In winter, the stars seem to have rekindled their fires, the moon achieves a fuller triumph, and the heavens wear a look of a more exalted simplicity.John Burroughs
Few things spell out COMFORT like a bowl of risotto. It is my favorite one-dish meal. Risotto is a northern Italian rice dish that’s as warm, comforting, and rustic as it is elegant and complex. While it is a simple and classic preparation, do not be fooled, as it requires utmost attention and care to perfect. When done correctly, risotto is creamy and decadent with a bite, and its layers of flavors meld together perfectly.
This recipe can be modified to your linking. Substitute mushrooms with asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, butternut or any vegetables you have on hand. And it’s also an amazing dish to embrace leftovers: fresh herbs, leftover meat, fish and cheese, or anything in the kitchen that inspires you to be innovative!
Lastly, be patient with your risotto and you will be rewarded tenfold.
It soothes the soul. It is warm. It is creamy. It is comfort.
Creamy Mushroom Risotto
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 cup white mushrooms, thinly sliced, diced
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine ( plus an extra glass for you while stirring)
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives/thyme
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
- Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the onion and minced garlic. Cook for 5 minutes. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed.
- Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, fresh herbs, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.