Recipe: Shiitake mushroom risotto

Yeah ok, so I realise that mushroom risotto isn’t the most challenging dish to make. But humour me, I am absurdly pleased with myself, not just for growing my own mushrooms, but for growing something I didn’t then manage to kill before it became edible – something of a miracle for me. And this is a great hearty warmer for a miserable late autumnal eveining.

Shiitake before being harvested


(Feeds two with some left over for one person’s lunch)

300g arborio rice
1 leek or small onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped,
1 litre or 2 pints chicken stock
175ml glass of dry white wine
Ten or 12 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
A handful of grated Parmesan cheese.
Butter for frying


In a deep-sided frying pan or saute dish, sweat the leek/onion and garlic over a low heat until it is soft but not coloured.
Add the mushrooms and allow to soften and wilt.

Add the rice and mix it in.

Add the white wine and allow it to boil and bubble until it is absorbed by the rice.

Add the chicken stock in stages, allowing each to be absorbed before adding more. Arborio rice packets say it should take around 20 minutes and needs less stock than I have allowed. They are wrong. One litre of stock and around 30 minutes is about right. When it is all absorbed the risotto should have a sticky, slightly gloopy texture.

Remove from the heat and mix in the Parmesan cheese.

Serve on plates or wide-brimmed bowls with a chilled white wine and some crusty bread.

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