To me this is the prefect fall dish, and that little bout of rain we just got and today’s break from the high 80s temperatures is a pretty good indication that we may actually get to break out the sweaters eventually. Either way, this is simple, easy comfort food. I feel like some people are under the delusion that risotto is complicated or hard, but it is really, really not. It’s rice plus liquid and it is the prefect vessel for almost anything else you want to add to it.
The only thing that makes this even remotely difficult is the stirring. You absolutely must stir this thing almost constantly while it is cooking. So there is some effort involved, a little bit of time and devotion, but it is really just you standing there stirring there for a good portion of the cook time, and whatever that may be it is certainly not difficult.
This is another one for Pinot Noir. What can I say, Pinot is a ridiculously versatile grape and it pairs really well with a huge range of food. But this one, this is kind of quintessential pinot food. That soft creamy risotto is the prefect textual compliment for a nice lush pinot and the mushrooms and thyme mirror the notes of earth and spice.
- 1 ½ cups chopped mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- ¼ cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- ½ cup red wine
- 3 ½ cups low sodium chicken stock
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt
- Heat the chicken stock in a small pot over low heat to keep warm.
- In a sauté pan heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of kosher salt and cook until the mushrooms have started to brown and release some of their liquid. Add in the fresh thyme and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup olive oil in the bottom of a large saucepan. Add the shallot and the rice and stir to coat and toast the rice, about 2 minutes. Then pour in the wine and stir until it has absorbed. Add the warm stock, about ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Repeat until you have used all the stock, tasting for consistency of the rice towards the end.
- Once you have the risotto at your desired, creamy consistency, add in the mushroom thyme mixture, the parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine everything and serve.