Wild Mushroom Risotto


serves 4
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
200 g (7 oz) mixed wild and cultivated mushrooms, such as ceps, oyster, porcini and button, wiped and sliced if large
250 g (9 oz) arborio (risotto) rice, washed
pinch of saffron threads
700 ml (1 1/4 pints) scant 3 cups hot vegetable stock
200 ml (7 fl oz) cup white wine
100 g (3 1/2 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra for serving
2 tbsp chopped thyme
salt and pepper


1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (skillet). Add the onions and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes or until just softened.

2. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for 3 minutes or until they are just beginning to brown.

3. Add the rice and saffron to the pan and stir to coat the rice in the oil.

4. Mix together the stock and the wine and add to the pan, a ladleful at a time. Stir the rice mixture and allow the liquid to be fully absorbed before adding more liquid, a ladleful at a time.

5. When all of the wine and stock is incorporated, the rice should be cooked. Test by tasting a grain - if it is still crunchy, add a little more water and continue cooking. It should take at least 15 minutes to cook.

6. Stir in the cheese and thyme, and season with pepper to taste.

7. Transfer the risotto to serving dishes and serve sprinkled with extra Parmesan cheese.

Wild mushrooms each have their own distinctive flavours and make a change from button mushrooms. However, they can be quite expensive, so you can always use a mixture with chestnut (crimini) or button mushrooms instead.

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