Lemony mushroom risotto

Aren’t you all in the mood for some comfort food in the midst of deepest darkest January? This past weekend, we were, but lingering in our minds were the not-so-distant memories of indulgences past (i.e. France) so when I was looking for a submission for February’s Gourmet Unbound roundup, I was intrigued by the sound of this risotto and its lemony flavour – just the thing to lighten up a risotto without it moving away from the realms of comfort food.

Lemony Mushroom Risotto Gourmet, February 2001

Active time: 45 min Start to finish: 45 min
Yield: Serves 4 (main course) or 6 to 8 (side dish)

2 2/3 cups boiling-hot water
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 lb small cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Arborio rice (8 oz)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Pour 2/3 cup hot water over porcini in a heatproof cup and let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Lift porcini out of water, squeezing excess liquid back into cup, and rinse well to remove any grit. Coarsely chop porcini. Pour soaking liquid through a paper-towel-lined sieve into a glass measure and reserve.

Meanwhile, bring broth and remaining 2 cups hot water to a simmer. Keep at a bare simmer, covered.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté cremini, stirring, until browned, about 7 minutes. Add porcini and reserved soaking liquid to skillet and boil, stirring, 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Cook onion in 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed.

Stir in 1/2 cup simmering broth mixture and cook at a strong simmer, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition become absorbed before adding the next, until rice is tender but still al dente and creamy (it should be the consistency of a thick soup), 18 minutes. (There will be leftover broth.)

Stir in zest, mushrooms, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, parmesan, parsley, and pepper to taste. (If necessary, thin risotto with some of remaining broth.) Serve immediately.

I would totally make this again – not only was it pretty easy (start to finish less than an hour) but it was tasty and comforting but definitely not heavy. Will be adding this to my repertoire, for sure.

NB: Gourmet, Unbound is a collaborative monthly cooking celebration. This project is not affiliated with or endorsed by Gourmet Magazine, Epicurious, or Condé Nast Publications. The Gourmet brand and Epicurious are the property of Condé Nast Publications.

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20 Responses to Lemony mushroom risotto

  1. Simply Life January 18, 2010 at 12:20 #

    I love risottos and this sounds perfect with the lemon and mushroom flavors!

  2. Cocina Savant January 18, 2010 at 13:13 #

    mushroom and risotto is an ideal comfort food, i have to agree with you, and the lemon sounds l like it would do just the trick to keep it from tasting too heavy but still feeling comforting. i can't wait to give it a try!!

  3. Divina Pe January 18, 2010 at 13:25 #

    The answer is yes. Risotto is one of those comfort foods. The lemon and the earthy mushrooms are just perfect for this creamy dish. Now I have to get cooking.

  4. Neil C. Phillips January 18, 2010 at 13:51 #

    This worked well: Mardi is correct, will definitely be added to the list. The lemon at first strikes one as unexpected in a risotto, but the flavours marry nicely.

    Especially when made with a rather nice white Burgundy – the bottle of which we finished off whilst eating the dinner. 🙂

  5. high low January 18, 2010 at 14:32 #

    I love mushroom risottos and adding the lemon sounds like a great way to make it brighter…yum!

  6. April Cavin January 18, 2010 at 14:38 #

    Looks like the perfect dish to cozy up to– flavors sound amazing.

  7. MaryMoh January 18, 2010 at 15:32 #

    I would really love this….healthy and delicious. I love the lemon and mushroom combo. Thanks for sharing.

  8. lk (Healthy Delicious) January 18, 2010 at 15:53 #

    I love adding lemon to risotto! Gives it such a bright flavor. I also made one recently with grapefruit that as surprisingly good. This was a great choice for gourmet unbound!

  9. Fresh Local and Best January 18, 2010 at 17:53 #

    This looks like a wonderfully comforting and bright risotto. Looks good!

  10. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction January 18, 2010 at 19:29 #

    Beautiful dish! I love risotto, and I think the lemon would give it a lovely bright and fresh flavor!

  11. Fuji Mama January 18, 2010 at 19:39 #

    Mmmmm, I love anything with lemon in it, and I love risotto–sounds like a perfect choice for Gourmet Unbound!

  12. The Real Dish January 18, 2010 at 20:20 #

    Sounds great! Thank you for the step by step pictures. Looking forward to giving it a try!

  13. Diana Bauman January 18, 2010 at 20:33 #

    What a lovely risotto! I love the addition of lemon!

  14. Janice January 18, 2010 at 21:46 #

    Looks great, love risotto with lemon and mushroom

  15. Rochelle January 19, 2010 at 03:28 #

    I have yet to try to make (or even eat) risotto but with those mushrooms in it I think I'd be all over this dish 🙂

  16. Stacy January 19, 2010 at 06:16 #

    I love risotto—such creamy goodness! And the lemons and mushrooms—perfect!

  17. penny aka jeroxie January 19, 2010 at 09:22 #

    Risotto is my favourite winter dish. I will add lemon zest to it next time.

  18. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite January 19, 2010 at 22:44 #

    Thanks everyone for your comments – it's definitely a flavour combination I had not thought of before but it really works.

    Lauren (healthy delicious) – grapefruit huh? I would be interested to try that!

  19. Conor @ HoldtheBeef January 20, 2010 at 13:57 #

    Mmmm porcini. Love that smell!

  20. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite January 21, 2010 at 23:43 #

    Conor – yup, the porcini really make the dish so earthy…

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