A Vegetarian Feast – Mushroom Risotto with Asparagus

We love risotto and I make it often. Some folk are nervous about it, thinking it will be a pain to stand and stir, and worrying if the rice will be over cooked or undercooked. Relax, pour yourself a lovely glass of wine and just enjoy about half an hour of gently attending to your dish while your mind sorts out the worries of the day. The diners will eat when the risotto is ready. No sooner, no later. And if you don’t like your rice too “al dente”…well you’re in charge, you can cook it for longer.

It’s a great dish too for using up whatever you have to hand. Personally I’m not so keen on meat risottos so this is a good option for us on the days when we choose not to eat meat or fish. To make this vegan you’d need to use vegan cheese and leave out the splosh of cream at the end – it will still taste amazing, I promise.

Arroz con Champinones y Esparragos 042

Ingredients to serve 6 as a starter, 4 as a main

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g carnaroli or arborio rice
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 2 peeled and crushed cloves of garlic
  • About 10g of dried porcini mushrooms soaked in boiling water, drain and finely chop the mushrooms and reserve the liquid. Make the liquid up to 1.5 litres with vegetable stock and keep it hot
  • About 300g chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced or finely chopped
  • A tablespoon of butter
  • Fresh parmesan
  • A good splosh of cream

Start by warming the oil in a deep frying pan and sweating the onions and garlic until soft. Add fresh mushrooms and cook gently until they are also soft then add the rice. Stir the rice in the pan to make sure all the grains are coated in oil then add the chopped reconstituted dried mushrooms.

Slowly add the hot stock, a couple of ladles full at a time, stir into the rice and when it has been absorbed, add more liquid. When the rice is almost cooked to your liking, turn the heat off and stir in the butter and cream, cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes.

Serve with griddled asparagus and large mushrooms (brush them with olive oil and season before cooking on a hot griddle) for a filling main course. Sprinkle with fresh parmesan as you serve if that takes your fancy.


52 thoughts on “A Vegetarian Feast – Mushroom Risotto with Asparagus

  1. Risotto used to make me really nervous but after making it a few times I realized that there is nothing to worry about really.. just take the time and enjoy it 🙂
    Like yourself, I find tasks like stirring relaxing..a chance for my mind to wander 🙂

  2. I agree Tanya, it’s such a relaxing way of preparing dinner… a little stirring, a little sip of wine, watching the rice transform into the most delicious of comfort food. Your mushroom version looks wonderful!

  3. I’m adding some garlic salt instead of garlic cloves, hope it’s fine, as I don’t wanna use garlic here directly…

  4. You’re so right… The stirring has totally put me off in the past, but maybe with a new perspective (unwinding with a glass in hand) it may turn out to be a winter favourite!

  5. Mmmmm mushroom risotto is one of my favourites. I also make a yummy garlic prawn one too. Sometimes I’ll grill a chicken breast and chop it up for the mushroom one if we want a meat dish but usually it’s meaty enough with a few different varieties of mushrooms.

  6. Sugar – ’tis hard to get past the snows falling: or are we Down Under the only ones whose vision is impaired 😉 ? Love risottos and yours is absolutely delightful!! Like Miss C most of us may be spending too much holding a glass rather than watching the clock!!

  7. This sounds absolutely delicious! I could eat it right now 🙂
    My son has your wonderful relaxed attitude to cooking. He puts a bit of music on and bops about the kitchen, giving things a stir here n there. Me- I just want it done and on the table 😦

  8. Lots of cheese and cream alternatives for we vegans so we don’t have to feel quite so smug about the calorie count and the best bit about wielding the wooden spoon is that you get to taste test…constantly…so the risotto is poific 🙂

  9. This is my perfect comfort food! Just as you mention, for me after work, nothing could comfort me more than to sip a glass of wine and stir my risotto! I love the perfect sear on those mushrooms, makes me want to dig right in!

  10. It must be the season, I made risotto 2 nights ago with the last of the frozen turkey and stock from Thanksgiving. Now you’ve got me thinking about making another batch, this time with just veggies. Sounds wonderful, Tanya! You’re so right about fearing to make risotto. It took me a long time to work up the courage to make some. Then I wondered what took me so long to do so. As much as I love pasta, there’s something special about a enjoying a plate of risotto on a cold evening. Talk about comfort food!

  11. Mmmmmm! I like a duck and fig risotto, too – if there’s ever any leftover duck that is 😉 or chestnut and fig if there isn’t. This looks great – hungry NOW!

  12. Mushroom risotto is one of my favorite dishes and yours looks lovely with the topping of the asparagus and large mushrooms. No Meat needed.

  13. This is just the sort of recipe I’ll be looking towards over the Christmas break.. a splosh of cream with mushrooms.. is just the perfect tummy-warming food! It’s been ages since I’ve been able to sit and read my favorite bloggers, but presents are wrapped, the dog’s napping and I’ve got some free time! Wishing you and your loved ones a very lovely Christmas season!! xx

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