Recipe: Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

This time of year, the wind is kicking up, and we go from warm days to cool and back again. Yes, we are firmly enmeshed in the season of vata, and finding ways to feel rooted, grounded, and comforted can help us pacify the effects of vata build up – unsettled, anxious, constipation, insomnia, among other indications.

While mushrooms can have some vata attributes, especially those that have more psychedelic qualities, for this most part this tamasic veggie is of the earth, and thus brings a lot of kapha to the party. This recipe calls for a large amount of mushrooms, and also the grounding qualities of meat stock and heavy cream, with the warmth and pungency of garlic and shallots. If you have a tendency toward kapha accumulation, this might not be the recipe for you especially as we get closer to spring, but for now it is a hearty meal that brings all the benefits of fungi – rich in vitamins B & D (if grown in the sun), a good source of selenium (crucial to thyroid function) and potassium – to your plate.

Mushroom Risotto
Adapted from Emeril’s Mushroom Risotto recipe
Serves 2 as an American-sized entree or 4 as a primi

32 ounces chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 finely chopped shallot
2 finely chopped stalks green garlic or 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
12 ounces assorted mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced, stems removed
1 cup arborio rice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon salt + more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan plus extra for garnish
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley leaves plus extra for garnish
3 ounces prosciutto, sliced into a thin chiffonade

In a medium saucepan bring the stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low to keep hot.

Melt the butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and stir until fragrant and soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until starting to wilt and their liquid is evaporated, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often (if you have more delicate mushrooms, like tree mushrooms or enokis, that will cook quickly add them a few minutes after your sturdier mushrooms, like king trumpets and shitakes). Add the rice and cook until the grains are opaque, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pan about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the thyme, season with the salt and pepper, stir, and add the wine. Again scrape any fond from the bottom of the pan and cook until nearly all the wine has evaporated. Ladle 3/4 cup of the stock into the pan. Cook, stirring often, until the stock is nearly all evaporated. Continue adding more stock 1/2 – 3/4 cup at a time as the previous addition is nearly absorbed, until the rice is tender and the risotto is creamy, 18 to 20 minutes. Stir in cream, cheese, and the parsley and mix well. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

Serve risotto in warmed bowls. Top with prosciutto and garnish with parsley and parmesan.

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