ONION & MUSHROOM RISOTTO WITH TOASTED HAZLENUTS
Recipe Created By:
What you will need
- 320g Riso Gallo Arborio Risotto Rice
- 300g chestnut mushrooms
- 30g grated Grana Padano
- 3 onions (roughly chopped)
- 30g unsalted butter
- 1 litre of vegetable stock (easily done with the onion trimmings)
- 120ml dry white wine
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 sprig of sage
- 1 bay leaf
- 100g wild garlic or rocket salad (Optional)
- 20g toasted hazelnuts
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
How to prepare:
I absolutely adore this recipe as it pairs 2 of my favourite ingredients to make risotto. Onion, sweet, creamy and caramelized, with mushrooms, hearty and rustic. A truly charming dish for all bold-flavours lovers.
For this risotto I used the Arborio rice from sustainable agriculture by Riso Gallo. Arborio for me is the rice to go to when I have to make a comforting homely risotto and it never disappoints me. Its chunkier beautiful grains lose a great amount of starch during the cooking, and that’s makes it the perfect grain not only for super creamy risotto, but also for arancini, rice bakes or thicker soups.
The name Arborio is actually taken from its town of origins, Arborio, in Piedmont and to this day, all Riso Gallo Arborio rice still comes from Local Italian farms near the area. Just an added bonus to the authenticity of this lovely product for all true risotto lovers.
Peel the onions, chop roughly and gently sweat in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt, a knob of butter and a bay leaf and sprig of sage. Cook for about 10 minutes on low heat until golden. Now add a splash of white wine and let the alcohol evaporate. Cook for further 5 minutes until caramelized and browned. Remove the herbs and blitz in a processor to obtain a smooth puree.
Now quickly rinse the mushrooms and chop them thinly. Pan fry them on high heat with a drizzle of oil and a crushed garlic clove. Stir often and after 4/5 minutes, when roasted and golden remove from the heat. Remove the garlic.
For the optional wild garlic sauce, wash and blanche the garlic in salted boiling water for about 30 second and cool in iced water. Now drain and blend well with a drizzle of oil, a pinch of salt and a tbsp of grated Grana Padano cheese. Add water if necessary. Sieve if lumpy and grainy. Keep aside at room temperature.
For the risotto
In a large casserole, start to dry toast the rice on low heat with a pinch of salt, without adding oil or fat. In this way, the heat reaches the core of each rice grain resulting in a more uniform al dente rice. Keep stirring the rice, so the rice does not catch on the bottom of the pan or burn. When the rice is very hot, pour half a glass of the wine in. Let the alcohol evaporate, set the cooking time to 16 minutes and add the simmering stock a ladle at a time, little by little. Stir the rice occasionally, and make sure the rice is always covered with stock. Keep cooking and do not stir with too much energy as it could break the rice grains.
When halfway through the cooking, add the onion puree.
Once the time is up, taste the risotto and if you’re happy with the texture remove it from the heat. If you want the rice a little bit softer, cook for another minute.
This step is called “mantecatura” to make the risotto creamier increasing its natural ooziness with the right gesture and movements.
Add the grated Grana Padano cheese and butter to the rice. Stir to incorporate extra air until the risotto is nice and creamy. At this stage I like to add an extra splash of wine and if the risotto dries up, you can still add a little bit of hot stock. Season to taste.
Plate the hot risotto straight away, add a tbsp of the optional wild garlic sauce, top with the charred mushroom and sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts.