For years and years I avoided making risotto-I had heard that it was difficult to make and labor intensive. I loved to eat it mind you-that warm, creamy rice is comfort food perfection! A few years ago I got sick of making the same old side dishes week after week and I decided to give it a shot-I was surprised how easy it was once I got the hang of it and now it’s a staple for our family-my boys LOVE it! The beauty of risotto is that you can easily change it up, I love adding seasonal veggies through the year but my all time very favorite flavor is far and away is this easy mushroom risotto recipe!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 small yellow onion, diced (see my quick dice tutorial here)
- 16 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 32 oz beef broth (room temperature)
- 2 tbsp dried parsley
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
In a medium heavy saucepan, heat the butter and oil on medium high heat. Add onions and mushrooms, saute until onions are translucent. Add the arborio rice and cook one minute while stirring constantly.
Add 2 cups of beef broth, or enough to just cover the rice and vegetables. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring often. This is the part that I think turns people off of making risotto-you hear “stir constantly” in many recipes and you think you’re going to be tied to the stove for a half an hour…it’s really not that bad! I usually start my risotto first and then prepare the rest of my food while it’s simmering, stopping in every few moments to give it a quick stir. It’s important to be close by and make sure the rice doesn’t stick but you’re not hunched over the pot the entire time!
As the broth evaporates continue to add more, one cup at a time so that the broth level is always just covering the rice. Do not add all of the broth at once, or you may end up with rice soup instead! You only want to add broth as the risotto absorbs the previous broth. Also be sure that your broth isn’t cold-adding cold liquid to the rice will “shock” the rice and make it hard in the center no matter how you cook it.
Continue to cook for 20-25 minutes until the rice is al dente-it may not require the full 32 oz of broth. Remove from heat, allow to rest 5 minutes then serve topped with parsley and parmesan. For a richer risotto you can add 4 tbsp of butter or stir in a quarter cup of heavy cream. (If you add the cream you’ve technically changed your risotto into a dish called mantecato, in case you want to get fancy and impress everyone with your culinary prowess!)
So are you one of the many who steer clear of risotto? Are you inspired to give it a try now?