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Mushroom Risotto

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Arthur and Donny making risotto

Arthur and Donny making risotto

Since the holidays are quickly approaching we thought we would share a recipe that would be great for entertaining.   For a little touch of elegance to serve your special guests we are featuring risotto.   I must say, I have had risotto several times at restaurants and thought it would take a lot of work to make at home.  Our close friends Donny and Arthur offered to take the lead on showing us how to make delicious risotto without stressing.   This versatile and delicious dish was actually easy to make and will be elegant to serve to any Fine Living Enthusiast . . . Bon appétit!


  • 1 package of brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • extra virgin olive oil – enough to coat the pan
  • a couple of pinches of red pepper
  • nutmeg
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup white vermouth
  • 1 cup of white wine (the slight acidity of Sauvignon Blanc works nicely)
  • freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • ½ of a lemon (juiced)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves

Some people think that making risotto is difficult because one must “stir it constantly.”  This is only slightly true, though risotto doesn’t behave like most rice in that you can just put it on and walk away or place in a rice cooker.  You must pay attention and stir it often throughout the whole cooking process, but you don’t constantly have to keep an eye on it.  Remember to keep the burner just high enough to barely simmer the stock and risotto.


Mushroom Risotto

Put 4 cups of chicken broth in a saucepan and keep it hot on the stove.

Melt 1 Tbsp. of butter in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium high heat and add the chopped onion, cooking until slightly caramelized.  Add the Arborio rice “toasting” the rice slightly, 4 or 5 minutes or until it is translucent at the edges.  Add half of the white vermouth and wine and blend it in evenly.  Add some cracked black pepper.

After 3 or 4 minutes you’ll see that a lot of the liquid has absorbed.  For the next 30-40 minutes, you will need to add 2 ladles full of hot chicken broth, at a time, to the mixture and stir it in.  Wait until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid before adding more.  Keep doing this until the rice is cooked.  You can make it more al dente (firm, but not crunchy to the tooth) or continue cooking it until it becomes softer, depending on your taste.  You’ll know the risotto is done when the rice just reaches al dente   Taste it to see that it is cooked to the consistency you prefer.  It should be fluid rather than solid when your serve it.  Finish it by adding the lemon and stirring in the Parmesan cheese.

At this point you can add whatever you like. . . since this is mushroom risotto, add in the sautéed mushrooms leaving some for the top to serve as garnish.

Garnish with remaining mushrooms and parsley then serve immediately.  Enjoy!

Sautéed Mushrooms:
Put 2 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 2 Tbsp of butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the mushrooms and red pepper flakes until the mushrooms are caramelized.  Add ¼ cup of vermouth and let the liquid cook out.  Grate the nutmeg on top of the mushrooms.   Let cool.

Notes:  You can stir in anything that makes you happy –cooked, chopped broccoli, asparagus, shrimp, etc. to the risotto.


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