Mixed Mushroom & Thyme Risotto with Lemon Infused Oil
(gluten, egg, soy & nut free )
A good risotto is a labour of love, and like all good love stories, I’ve found a little alcohol never goes astray 😉 There is a half a glass of wine in this recipe, which leaves plenty for you to enjoy a glass or two during the 30-40 mins of stirring involved. And the stirring is such an important part of getting risotto right, you can’t just leave it and walk away, it needs a lot of love and attention, but it’s that love that makes it taste so rich and creamy. So pour yourself a wine, grab a wooden spoon and get yourself settled in.
I was so happy to find out that pecorino cheese made correctly, is made from sheeps milk. Luckily sheep, goats & I get along well, it seems to just be cows and buffalo that are not my friends. Which is really sad, since I do have quite a soft spot for cows, and buffalo’s for that matter. That being said, I am waiting another month or two and then I’m going to try jersey cow milk, because that is supposed to be good for some people with cows milk intolerance’s too. If it works, I’ll be the happiest person in the world 🙂
A lot of the commercial pecorino cheese’s are now made from cows milk, which is quite strange since the word derives from pecora meaning ‘sheep’ in Italian. I went to a specialty cheese shop in Haberfield (Sydney’s “little-Italy”), and I was like a kid in a candy store. They had so many sheep and goat milk cheeses, and the pecorino tastes so amazing!
- 4 cups good quality stock, use chicken stock, except if making vegetarian. Then use vegetable stock.
- 1/2 cup good quality sauvignon blanc white wine, or other dry white wine.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 300g mixed mushrooms (I used 100g swiss brown, plus 200g mixed enoki, baby oyster & shimeji mushrooms)
- 10g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 125ml hot water, until softened. Keep water.
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 2 tablespoons thyme leaves
- 1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese (you can also use parmesan if you can have cows milk)
- salt & pepper
- Lemon infused olive oil
- extra thyme leaves and grated pecorino to serve
- Slice the bigger mushrooms like the swiss browns & break apart the clumped together ones, cutting off the base. Keep the enoki mushrooms aside (the long thin ones)
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions, and cook until soft and transparent. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, except for the enoki and the porcine mushrooms, and stir for 3-5 minutes until the mushrooms have softened.
- Add the rice, and stir until the rice looks glassy. This takes about 2-3 minutes. Stir through the softened dried porcini mushrooms.
- Add the wine and the water from the dried porcini and stir until evaporated.
- Add the stock, 1/2 cup at a time. Add each 1/2 cup, and then stir until the stock is completed absorbed into the rice. Then continue until all stock has been added. This takes about 30 – 40 mins.
- Add the thyme and enoki mushrooms and stir through for 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and then add the grated pecorino and stir through.
- Taste after the pecorino has been added as it is salty, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- To serve, scatter some extra thyme leaves over the top, add some freshly ground pepper and some extra grated pecorino cheese. Drizzle the lemon infused olive oil over the top (this really makes the dish for me, if you don’t have any lemon oil, I would add some grated lemon rind at step 6, and maybe some lemon juice, and then drizzle with olive oil. But the lemon oil is truly wonderful)