Basic Mushroom Risotto

by nomeatbarefeet

One of the first dishes that I felt proud of myself for making was a Lemon Risotto. Perhaps it coincided with hearing Gordon Ramsey hurl insults and disparaging remarks at aspiring cooks on Hell’s Kitchen; but realizing that I could produce a pretty decent risotto instilled in me the confidence that I could cook.


  • 1 1/2 C Arborio rice (see note*)
  •  1 onion (diced)
  • olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlice (minced)
  • 1/2 C dry white wine (plus more to drink!)
  • 5-6 cups of broth
  • Mushrooms (sliced; you can use any type that you want, white caps being the simplest)
  • 1 Tbsp miso (white is preferable)
  • Nooch (to taste)
  • Salt
  • Inclusions (see note 2*)

*Note: A traditional risotto uses arborio rice, but you can do a risotto with just about any grain: barley, farro, wheatberries, brown rice. You may have to adjust the amount of dry grain, broth, and cooking time.

*Note 2: Risottos are very versitale, and you do just about anything you like with them. Add asparagus, lemon juice and lemon zest in place of the mushrooms (this is our favorite!); or add greens such as spinich or kale; make Mexican inspired flavors with cumin, chili powder, beans, and cilantro. Do whatever you like!

The How To

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook the mushrooms; set aside.
  2. While the mushrooms are cooking heat the broth over low heat just to warm through. We like to keep it the burned directly behind the rice so that it is easy to scoop and add to the rice. Keep on low heat.
  3. After removing the mushrooms add more olive oil. Once heated, cook garlic for 1-2 minutes (don’t let burn). Add onions and cook until soft.
  4. Add the arborio rice and cook for a few minutes (just to coat and heat through); then add the wine and cook until the wine has reduced by about half.
  5. Start by adding 1 cup of broth to the rice. Stir regularly. Once the broth has been mostly absorbed continue to add broth, 1/2 to 1 cup at a time. (Basically just scoop up some broth with the 1 cup measuring cup—usually it is not quite 1 cup, but that is fine.)
  6. Continue adding broth and stirring regularly until the rice has absorbed all the liquid that it can. This can take upwards of 40-50 minutes. As you get closer to the finishing time give the rice a taste to see if it is crunchy—finished rice should not be crunchy and should look translucent throughout each grain. (You might have to bite a grain in half to tell this last point.)
  7. Once rice has stopped absorbing liquid, shut the heat off. Mix the miso with a little bit of stock and add to the rice. Add as much nooch as you want; add salt to taste. Add the mushrooms and stir to combine. The final product should be creamy but not runny.

Note to Risotto-newbies: It takes cooking it several times to really get a feel, and to know when you are done. It can be a bit “labor intensive,” but it is delicious and well worth the time. The best thing to do to pass the time is to pour a big glass of wine while you are cooking. As Katie always says, “The cook gets to drink.”