In case it wasn't clear from the picture, auf Englisch, this is a mixed mushroom risotto. I've been continuing to have fun exploring Zurich grocery stores and markets. The other day, one treasure I brought home with me was a box of magnificent mixed mushrooms. I couldn't conclusively identify a single one, nor would I have been brave enough to buy any of the varieties on their own (what would it taste like? how would I cook it?). In fact, I first reached for the plain old button mushrooms. But then my eye caught the combination pack: somehow the cornucopia made the foreign mushrooms seem less intimidating than they might otherwise have been. Into my basket they went.
I consider risotto one of my favorite dishes to make. It is time consuming (lots of active stirring), but not particularly difficult. Once you have the basics down, it's a super pliable dish, a blank canvas on which to paint. I enjoy pondering the possibilities, particularly when inspired by a great ingredient. In this case, that ingredient was clearly my box of mushrooms.
Being unfamiliar with exactly what I was dealing with, I wasn't sure whether to add the mushrooms at the onset of the risotto making process (or would they become tough?) or near the end (but then would the flavors have a chance to meld?), so I decided to hedge my bets, adding half at the beginning and half later in the cooking process. This worked out really well, as it resulted in both great flavor as well as good texture, the mushrooms added later providing some toothsome meatiness. Lemon awakened the dish, bringing a bright taste of sunshine to the earthy mushrooms.
This, in my opinion, was a standout dish that I will definitely make again.
Gemischte Pilzen Risotto | Mixed Mushroom Risotto
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
a handful of mixed mushrooms, chopped
another handful of mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 c. arborio rice
1/3 c. white wine
4-6 cups hot stock*the grated rind (about 2 Tbsp.) and juice (about 3 Tbsp.) of one lemon
1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
1/3 c. parmesan cheese, grated
1 Tbsp. butter
parsley for garnish (optional)
*I used 2 cubes of chicken bouillon mixed with about 6 cups of water
Heat olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add the more finely chopped mushrooms and continue to cook until they begin to soften. Add rice and stir to coat. Add white wine. Cook, stirring, until fully absorbed by rice.
Add hot broth, a couple ladles at a time, stirring constantly and allowing to fully absorb between each addition. When you have about 4 broth additions remaining (this should be around 30 minutes into the cooking process), add the roughly chopped mushrooms. When you have about 2 broth additions remaining, add lemon rind, lemon juice, thyme, and parmesan cheese to rice. Continue to stir and add broth until none remains (test rice for doneness and add additional stock or water if needed). Mix in the remaining tablespoon of butter.
Ladle risotto into individual bowls, garnish with parsley if desired, and be prepared for whomever you're serving to be impressed!