My friend Adel recently sourced some lovely short grain brown rice from one of her local shops, and it's so delicious. We made a curry and accompanied it with the brown rice, baked in the oven like a pilaf, and it was just perfect. The little grains have such a nice texture and an earthy, almost nutty flavour. It occurred to me at that moment that this rice would be perfect for a mushroom risotto.
The other half of this recipe presented itself after I recently returned from a day out walking through the forests in the Scottish borders with a huge amount of girolle mushrooms. The mushroom season is in full swing here, and you can get almost anything you want if you know where to look. If you can't get a hold of any wild mushrooms, you could still make a nice version of this recipe with regular button mushrooms or chestnut mushrooms.
- 180 g short grain brown rice, ideally soaked overnight
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stick celery, finely chopped
- 4 large button mushrooms
- 2 large handfuls wild mushrooms, cleaned
- 1 glassful dry white wine
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock, or water
- 1 handful parsley, chopped
- 80 g unsalted butter, cut into dice
- 30 g parmesan cheese, finely grated
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
Place a large, heavy-based pan over a medium heat and add about 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot (in about 1 minute) add the onion, garlic, celery and two pinches of salt. Stir once. Cut the button mushrooms into approx 5mm dice and add to the pan along with a pinch of salt. Stir, then cook over a medium heat for 15 minutes until everything is soft and sweet.
If you soaked the rice, drain it then add to the pan with the onions, along with a pinch of salt. Turn the heat up to high and stir for 1 minute. This helps to break down the surface of the grains of rice which will allow the starch to release more effectively. Add the white wine, then turn the heat to medium-high. Stir continuously until the liquid is all gone, then add enough stock or water to cover the rice. Bring to the boil, then partially cover the pan with a lid (use foil or parchment paper if you don't have a lid) and turn the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook like this for 40 minutes, periodically topping up with more stock or water if needed. Cook until the rice is tender. If you've not soaked it beforehand it will need longer. When cooked, remove the lid, boil until most of the water has evaporated and then set aside.
For the wild mushrooms, put a frying pan or skillet over a medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and when it's hot add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt. Saute for about 30 seconds, stirring frequently, then add a knob of butter. Turn the heat down a bit, and cook gently for about 3 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender. Set aside while you finish the risotto.
If the rice is not hot anymore, place it back on the heat to get it hot, then beat in the butter. Add a splash of water or stock if it's getting a little too thick, then finish with the grated parmensan (leaving some for garnish). Spoon into bowls and put the sauteed mushrooms on top. Finish with a scattering of chopped parsley and grated parmesan.