What better way to spend a dreary day than to pop down to Borough Market to pick up some gorgeous yummy things with which to make a splendid dinner. After considerable perusing and contemplation I settled on some fresh wild mushrooms as the basis of my meal. Although the vendor tried to convince me that they were best served with tagliatelli, I decided to make a risotto. I also picked up some thyme, for flavouring, as well as some rocket and and aubergine for a side dish I’ve been wanting to try for ages. I was tempted to get some arborio rice with truffle. However, I already had it in mind to incorporate crème frâiche into the risotto and didn’t want to risk masking the wonderful fragrant flavour of the truffle. The recipe I came up with serves 3 people.
Half a white onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
250 grams arborio rice
100 ml white wine
1 litre of vegetable stock
Small knob of butter
150 grams wild mushrooms
1 tablespoon of crème frâiche
Salt and pepper
1. Heat a little olive oil in a saucepan. Finely dice the onion and crush one clove of garlic then slowly fry over a medium heat. The onion should become translucent, not brown.
2. Remove thyme leaves from the stalks and add the leaves to the saucepan with the arborio rice. Stir and allow to fry until the rice starts to pop.
3. Turn the heat up to high. Add 80ml of white wine. Stir until the wine evaporates, but without letting the rice go dry.
4. Add a ladle of stock and stir until the stock evaporates, but without letting the rice go dry. You want the rice to develop a creamy texture. Repeat until rice is the right consistency. The best way to judge this is to keep tasting. You might not need all of the stock.
5. When the rice is nearly done melt the butter in a saucepan with a little olive oil. Roughly chop the mushrooms into large chunks then add to the pan with the other clove of garlic, crushed, and gently fry. When they are close to done add the rest of the white wine, toss the mushrooms in the liquid, and cook until this has evaporated.
6. Season both components of the dish and stir the crème frâiche through the risotto. Spoon the risotto onto plates, top with wild mushroom mix and sprinkle over some chopped parsley.
I was quite pleased with the resulting risotto. I think the addition of leak would work nicely. As I said before it would also be interesting to to try a truffle risotto with he wild mushrooms on top. I also wondered about adding some gamey meat. Lots of variations to try!