One of the best ways to enjoy wild mushrooms is in a risotto. I am indebted to Denise Baker-McClearn from www.moelfabansuppers.com for this delicious recipe which mixes leek, thyme and dried wild and cultivated shitake in wonderfully warming winter dish.
She stresses there are three basic rules for a good risotto. Firstly the rice should be al dente. Secondly let it rest for five minutes after taking it off the heat and finally make sure it’s nice and wet (so keep adding stock/wine/water throughout the cooking process). Her other tip here, is to dry fry the mushrooms to seal in the flavour and to prevent them losing shape and texture.
1 Medium leek
A sprig of thyme
30g Dried porcini
200g Fresh shitake (or oyster or chestnut)
250g Arborio rice
Vermouth (or white wine)
Salt and pepper
Parmesan and wild rocketb to garnish
Make a mushroom stock by covering the porcini with boiling water. Heat the knob of butter and olive oil in a saucepan. Add leek and cook gently until it begins to soften but not brown. Add the fresh thyme and rice and stir for a couple of minutes until the rice no longer looks so chalky white). Turn the heat up and add a glug of vermouth or wine, then begin to add the mushroom stock, stirring frequently (pour more boiling water on the mushrooms to top up the stock). Keep doing this until the rice has reached the desired al dente point. While the rice is cooking heat a non-stick frying pan and when hot add the sliced mushrooms in one layer. Cook until beginning to brown then flip over. Remove from the heat and keep to one side.
Once the rice has reached the al dente point add another knob of butter, the seareed mushrooms and check seasoning adding plenty of black pepper. Remove from the heat and allow to rest. Spoon onto warmed plates and garnish with a few slivers of parmesan and fresh peppery rocket.