I used to help in our family restaurant, and I love good food. I enjoy thinking up creative ways to use leftovers to avoid food waste.
This Risotto Is Easy Enough for Beginners!
I will show you here how to make this cheap and healthy meal which is really tasty. Risotto, meaning "rice," is a traditional Italian dish, and you will learn here a method for cooking rice the Italian way. Traditionally, porcini mushrooms are used for this recipe, as they have a strong flavour. You can buy dried porcini in packets if you can't find the fresh mushrooms, or you can substitute other mushrooms. The other main ingredient is goats milk cheese, which also has a very pungent flavour. If it is too strong for you, just use a substitute.
Believe it or not, I had never tasted risotto until very recently, when my daughter tried out a mushroom risotto recipe whilst I was in her kitchen. I thought it would be bland and that I wouldn't like it, but how wrong I was—it was surprisingly delicious.
Once I know roughly how something will taste, I improvise with my own recipe, and find that near-approximations works quite well. That's what makes this mushroom risotto recipe so easy.
Porcini mushrooms and goats milk cheese may seem expensive, but because they are strongly flavoured, you don't need a lot, so this is in fact quite an inexpensive meal, as well as being nutritious.
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Note: Quantities for this risotto are not vital—just use what you have.
- 4 cups risotto rice (the most suitable alternative would be paella rice, but otherwise you could use any rice you have available, but it works best with a rice which gives a sticky subsistency)
- 2 ozs dried porcini mushrooms (but any other mushrooms, dried or fresh, would do instead of or in addition to porcini mushrooms, which taste quite strong; even a tin of condensed mushroom soup would work)
- 1/2 onion, chopped finely
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 big blob of butter (1/4 oz.)
- 2 teaspoons fresh coriander leaves (or other herbs if preferred)
- 1 oz. goats milk cheese
- 1 oz Greek-style yogurt or cream
- 1 clove
- A sprinkle of nutmeg or mace
- 1 chicken or vegetable boullion cube
- 8 cups water (or 2 cups for each 1 cup of rice)
- Fry the onion in the olive oil till golden brown.
- Add the garlic.
- Add the butter and melt it.
- Add the rice and gently fry and stir it till all the rice grains are coated with butter and oil.
- Add the boiling water.
- Add the mushrooms, chicken or vegetable boullion, spices, and any herbs except the coriander—you can vary these according to your taste.
- Gently simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes until very soft. If it looks as though the rice has absorbed all the water, add a little more, so that ultimately the texture is a slightly wet, sticky, glutinous mass. It should not be dry like usual boiled rice.
- Add the goats milk cheese, and either yogurt (healthy) or cream (richer and naughtier) and stir until the cheese has melted.
- Just before you serve the mushroom risotto, add the chopped coriander (coriander is best when not cooked a lot).
- Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese (optional).
Note: You probably won't need salt, as the boullion is salty. Use salt sparingly, if at all.
You Can Buy Dried Mushrooms Online
It's very useful to keep a packet or bottle of dried mushrooms in your store cupboard, so that you can make your mushroom risotto whenever you have a little left-over rice. It means you don't have to worry about keeping a store of fresh mushrooms, which go off quickly, when you decide on the spur of the moment to cook your mushroom risotto.
If you want a bit of luxury, try Dried Italian Porcini Mushrooms from Amazon. They have a good strong flavour, so you don't need to use a lot, and you can keep some back for later use..
What Is Your Cooking Style?
Do you believe recipes should be followed to the letter? Are you a nervous cook or a creative maestro? Let's see how precious you are about following recipes slavishly! Take the poll below and see how you compare with everyone else. You might be pleasantly surprised.
A Popular YouTube Video About Italian Risotto: Fantastico!
How Did You Get On?
Did you think this recipe was quick and easy, and was it tasty? Would you eat it again?
Please share your comments below.
Sandro on October 26, 2014:
Diane Cass from New York on October 09, 2014:
I love mushrooms, and I love rice. This sounds easy. The vegetarian in our house will love it too.
Elsie Hagley from New Zealand on October 09, 2014:
Thanks for the reminder. Have just about forgotten about a meal like this. Before my children left home I was always cooking a meal like this.
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on October 09, 2014:
Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on October 08, 2014:
Yes, I eat it sometimes when I'm not in the mood for meat
Maurice Glaude from Mobile, AL on October 07, 2014:
Sounds good since I no longer eat meat!
Barbara Tremblay Cipak from Toronto, Canada on February 17, 2014:
It looks and sounds fabulous, I really need to cook a decent meal today!
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on February 17, 2014:
Sounds delicious and a recipe I'll be trying soon.
Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on February 17, 2014:
@goldenrulecomics: Me too - I even like them raw
goldenrulecomics from New Jersey on February 16, 2014:
I love mushrooms
Tom Christen from Switzerland/Ecuador on September 01, 2013:
That sounds and looks so yummy :) Gonna make that soon... Thank you for sharing!
Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on January 30, 2013:
@Michey LM: I never thought of it as an accompaniment to a meat dish, but why not? Everything is worth a try.
Michey LM on January 29, 2013:
I'll try this one and serve with roast pork.
ismeedee on January 29, 2013:
Love mushroom risotto. Must try this recipe!
Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on January 29, 2013:
@Scraps2treasures: Thanks for the blessing.
Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on January 29, 2013:
@anonymous: Thanks, I must confess it took me by surprise!
anonymous on January 29, 2013:
Congratulations on your purple star, well deserved.
Scraps2treasures on January 29, 2013:
I have never made risotto but I might have to try your recipe. It looks really good. Congrats on the Purple Star, by the way! Blessed.
Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on January 29, 2013:
Mmmm! Congratulations on the purple star for this yummy recipe lens!
Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on July 17, 2012:
@kevkev227 lm: Having only recently discovered that I like risotto (after years and years of thinking it would be dry and uninteresting), I have been experimenting with various ingredients - that's what is so good about trying a recipe - you can then make your own variations according to family taste.
kevkev227 lm on July 17, 2012:
I love risotto...my wife makes it with mushrooms, butternut squash and parmesan :)
Bobski606 on May 20, 2012:
Vikki w on May 03, 2012:
Mushrooms = nice to eat and good for health
writerkath on May 01, 2012:
Diana! You are my kind of cook. I love the "Big blob of butter" instruction! I do the same thing! :)
KimGiancaterino on April 07, 2012:
Mushroom risotto is one of my all-time favorites and my husband loves to make it. Of course, he makes it different every time, but it's always a crowd pleaser.
anonymous on July 17, 2011:
Mmmmm! This sounds wonderful--I love risotto, and I love mushrooms. I always thought risotto was too daunting for me to try, but this doesn't seem so difficult. Fabulous lens!
greetingcardsinfo on June 30, 2011:
Gosh this sounds really nice I will have to try this and let you know what it taste like.
WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on February 22, 2011:
I haven't cooked with goat's cheese either but I love rice and mushrooms. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
Moe Wood from Eastern Ontario on February 13, 2011:
This sounds yummy. I love rice and mushrooms together. They make such a good combination. I've never cooked with goat cheese before.
JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on February 06, 2011:
This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe! : )
Dianne Loomos on February 03, 2011:
I've never tried Risotta of any kind but this one looks really yummy! I think I'll try it! Thank you for featuring Depression Era Cooking and Recipes.
rlivermore on February 01, 2011:
This sounds delicious! I look forward to trying it.
Blackspaniel1 on January 31, 2011:
Looks like an interesting dish.
Achim Thiemermann from Austin, Texas on January 31, 2011:
Mushroom risotto is one of my favorite dishes. You offer a quite interesting variation with goat cheese and yogurt...I should try this! :)
tandemonimom lm on January 31, 2011:
This looks amazingly good!
anonymous on January 31, 2011:
I love mushroom risotto, I will try your recipe, it looks yummy
jgall34 lm on December 13, 2010:
I love risotto, this recipe looks delicious.
MargoPArrowsmith on November 11, 2010:
Risotto with mushrooms! Yum!
James Jordan from Burbank, CA on November 09, 2010:
Sniff It Out on October 22, 2010:
Love mushroom risotto, I have never tried using goats cheese in it before so maybe I should try that :) If I use the dried porcini mushrooms I soak them first by pouring boiling water on them and then use the liquid that the mushrooms have been soaking in, it gives a lovely, deep flavour.
hayleylou lm on October 09, 2010:
Sounds delicous - I have lensrolled this to all my recipe lenses :)
Diana Grant (author) from United Kingdom on September 16, 2010:
@myraggededge: Thank you so much for the blessing. Hope you have now tried the recipe!
callinsky lm on June 24, 2010:
I am a mushroom FREAK. Give me fungus I scream! I cannot wait to try it, and I definitely well. It sounds absolutely yummy. (O;
myraggededge on June 24, 2010:
Sounds delicious, Diana. Might have to give it a go. Blessed by a Squid angel :-)