Mushroom Risotto recipe – My friend Kika was born in Poland, a place where mushroom hunting is a beloved pastime. She has lived most of her life in Canada but has learned foraging skills from her mom who takes her out this time of year when foraging is at its best. Kika has been posting pictures from her ventures out in the woods and I am, quite frankly, so jealous of her basketfuls of chanterelles and lobster mushrooms! Even if we can identify many mushrooms, it is best not to pick them for consumption. In the world of mushroom hunting, newbies are cautioned not to pick without the guidance of an expert-it is too easy to mistake an edible mushroom for a poisonous one.
Some delicious varieties found in Quebec are chanterelles, morels, chicken of the woods, and boletes among many others. Each mushroom has its own health profile but one nutrient common amongst most varieties is vitamin D, a vitamin that is hard to get from diet alone. Other important nutrients from mushrooms include B-vitamins, copper, phosphorus and zinc. In Chinese medicine, mushrooms are highly valued for their health supportive properties, and in the West, certain extracts are now being looked at as possible cancer therapies. There’s a lot to these fungi!
Fortunately, even if we don’t have a Polish mother to take us out on a hunt, there are tours that can be done all over the country, and even right here in Montreal. Since late summer is the best time for mushroom hunting, seize the day and do a tour close to Montreal with the Mycoboutique. Or if you want to enjoy a variety of mushrooms without much effort, you can find them at specialty stores or farmer’s markets.
Risotto is a deeply rich and flavourful dish and adding a variety of mushrooms just takes it to a whole new level! Even if you don’t have access to a variety of mushroom you can use crmini mushrooms and add some dried porcinis.
Kika’s Mushroom Risotto
- 3 cups of a variety of mushrooms
- 4 tbsp of olive oil
- 4 scallions, sliced, whites only
- ¾ cup of white wine
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 ½ cups of Arborio rice
- 6 cups of broth (chicken, beef)
- ¼- ½ cup of grated parmesan (optional)
- Chives or flat-leaf parsley as garnishing
Directions: Using a large frying pan, sauté scallions and mushrooms on medium-low. Meanwhile, heat broth so that it is hot but not boiling. When the scallions and the mushrooms are soft, add white wine, salt, pepper, and rice and stir gently altogether. When most of the wine has been absorbed or evaporated, using a ladle, add a scoop of broth, give a few stirs and once the liquid is absorbed, stir it again and add more broth. Continue this process until the risotto is al dente (about 20 minutes), staying close to the stove so that the rice does not brown on the bottom. Blend in your parmesan and serve immediately with garnishing.
Natalie Lavers is a health and wellness consultant in Montreal. She offers advice on using food and stress reduction techniques to support proper digestion and optimal health. Find out more about her and get more recipes at www.lavienourrie.com.