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You may just make this easy risotto your main dinner dish.
Risotto With Less Work
One side dish I love more than anything is risotto. I think it’s the favorite rice dish of most people.
However, there’s one thing I don’t like about risotto–and that’s preparing it. Risotto needs very careful tending and it’s a lot like the proverbial “watch pot.” You have to make sure your stock is hot and add it in drips and drabs with constant stirring until the small amount of liquid is almost absorbed. Then, rinse and repeat as they say–many times over.
Admittedly, it’s worth the effort, but wouldn’t you make it more often if it were–gasp–easier? Well, here you go!
Roasted Mushrooms: Yummy
The biggest attraction in this easy risotto is the roasted mushrooms. And for people who can’t do fungus and I know you’re out there, well, this recipe just isn’t for you.
The risotto is even nicer if you use really fancy-schmantzy mushrooms. I just ordered a pound of assorted chef’s gourmet mushrooms and this was the perfect way to use them. My assortment included trumpet royale, hen of the woods and white beech. The differing textures made it very interesting. However, you don’t have to invest a fortune in mushrooms. You can use good old cremini or baby bellas and it will taste just as good. It’s the roasting that makes them flavorful.
I have to caution up front that the roasted mushrooms contain a lot of garlic and the flavor is prominent. I love garlic, so there’s no issue for me, but if you’re not as into garlic as I am, cut the amount of it in half.
To make a great risotto, you need the right kind of rice.
Arborio is the one you want to use. It’s a short-grain starchy rice that accounts for the slightly sticky and creamy texture of a risotto. I believe you can also use a rice made for sushi. It may be the same thing as this, but I don’t make sushi so I can’t say for sure. You can find this where you find regular rice in your store. It’s not uncommon so it should be available widely.
Roasted Mushroom Oven Risotto
- 1 lb mixed gourmet mushrooms and/or crimini mushrooms, broken into pieces or sliced 1/4" thick
- 3 garlic cloves peeled, thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp thyme see NOTES
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1 3/4 tsp or more kosher salt, divided
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup dry vermouth or white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth divided
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan about 1 cup
- 2 tbs cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves
- Place racks in bottom third and middle of oven; preheat to 350°F/180C. Toss mushrooms, garlic, thyme, red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup oil, and 1/2 tsp. salt on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast on bottom rack, tossing halfway through, until deeply golden brown and crisped, 25–30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tbs oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and slightly translucent, 3–5 minutes. Stir in rice; season with pepper and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until some grains are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add vermouth, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pan is almost dry, about 2 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups stock. Bring to a simmer, then cover and bake in a 350F/180C oven until liquid is mostly absorbed but rice is still slightly firm in the center, 16–18 minutes.
- Return pot to stove and heat over medium. Add remaining 1/2 cup stock and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is tender but still has some bite and sauce is creamy, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan, butter, and lemon zest; season to taste with salt, if needed. Add a little bit of warm water, if needed, until risotto is thick but still pourable.
- Transfer risotto to a platter. Top with crispy mushrooms and parsley. Drizzle with oil.