Mushroom Risotto with Roasted TomatoesPosted: October 13, 2016
I hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of October! The temperature is starting to drop, which makes me worry a little for my seedlings in the garden, but also makes me so happy because Autumn is my favorite season! I love the ability to layer clothes and dress in comfy sweaters. I love all those fall flavors and dishes: pumpkin and squash, apples, pears, brussels sprouts, spices, thick stews and gravies, and all of those stick-to-your-ribs and warm-your-bones types of food. I love that everything gets a little more cozy. Summer is for going everywhere, traveling, eating at restaurants, on patios, going out with friends, and all that. I think that Fall finds us at home more, but also in homes more, whether we are visiting friends or having them over at our place. And since I love feeding people and love staying home, this makes this season pretty ideal.
At the top of my cozy, crave-able dinners list is risotto. It’s always my back-up, since the base can be made with pantry staples, so it is great for days when I didn’t plan dinner or when my other plans are foiled for one reason or another. Then I can dig out some arborio rice, some broth, an onion, and a bit of cheese for a risotto base that can be doctored up in endless ways! Risotto also has the same sort of creamy, starchy goodness as say…macaroni and cheese, but it doesn’t leave me feeling quite as weighed down after eating it. Plus, I am pretty particular about my mac and cheese, so–even with the required stirring–risotto is way easier for me to get on the plate. And, as an added bonus: leftover risotto is perfect for making arancini! This is another favorite that I will have to post soon, but the leftover risotto is wrapped around cheese, then breaded and fried or baked to crispy, cheesy, dip-able perfection! Easily one of the best leftover dishes, ever.
This risotto, as I mentioned, comes from the same base as I’ve posted before. I’ve come a long way from my first frightened attempt at risotto. I am nearly on auto-pilot nowadays. When I got shiitake mushrooms in our Hungry Harvest Box (still totally in love, BTW), I knew I wanted to make them into a risotto. Since M isn’t too keen on mushrooms, he is usually a good sport when I ‘hide’ them in our dishes. But I wanted these to be the star of the dish. Luckily, he goes off with friends one night a week, which is quickly becoming my time to indulge in all dishes mushroom and/or shrimp. So this risotto was thrown together on a Tuesday, after my late shift at work. After 30 minutes stirring at a toasty stove, I had my reward! I decided to throw in these tomatoes at the last minute, when I realized that they needed to be used up, and I’m so glad that I did. The mild acidity of the roasted tomatoes is the perfect compliment to the creamy risotto. While it may not be much to look at, it was delicious! Enjoy!
Mushroom Risotto with Roasted Tomatoes
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 30-40 minutes
- 3 Tbsp. butter, divided
- 3 small-medium shallots
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 c. arborio rice
- 1/4 c. white wine*
- 4 c. broth (chicken, beef, veggie)
- 8 oz mixed mushrooms**
- 8 fresh sage leaves
- 1 stalk fresh rosemary
- 10-12 stems of thyme
- 1/4 c. heavy cream or half & half
- 1/4 c. parmesan, grated
- 1 pint small tomatoes (cherry, grape, cabernet, etc)
*If you want to avoid alcohol entirely, you can replace the wine with an equal amount of broth + a splash of vinegar.
**I used equal parts button and shiitake mushrooms.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss the pint of tomatoes with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, until well coated. Pour the tomatoes onto the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes. Once the time is up (sometime during your span of cooking the risotto), turn off the oven and leave the tomatoes inside to stay warm.
Set a pot on the stovetop over medium heat. Fill with the broth and add 2 sage leaves, a few stems of thyme, and one crushed garlic clove. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down low.
Prep the veggies: Finely dice the shallots. Mince the remaining garlic cloves. Dice the mushrooms.
In a large pan, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and then add the chopped shallots. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the shallots are softened. Add the arborio rice and stir to coat in the butter. Cook for about 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the rice turns opaque and smells a little toasted. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, for one more minute. Add the white wine and continue stirring until the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the mushrooms. Add a ladle-full of hot broth and continue stirring. Just keep on stirring to release the starch of the rice, which makes risotto super creamy. The liquid will begin to be absorbed until when you pull your spoon across the pan, there will be a second or two where you can see the trail of the spoon before the rice mixture begins to pool back together. Then it is time to add another ladle of broth and stir some more. Always keep stirring and adding a ladle of broth once the previous is absorbed. When you are down to just one more ladle of broth, chop up and add the herbs. When all of the broth has been added to the pan and absorbed by the rice mixture, add the cream, parmesan, and the final tablespoon of butter. Stir until the cream is absorbed.
Top with the roasted tomatoes and serve immediately.