Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mushroom and Pea Risotto

Let me warn you, I'm not starting this post the way I necessary should...but I never said I was a good rule follower. 
I used to really suck at risotto.  Badly.  My first attempt (probably 12 years ago) was delicious and my husband looked forward to the dish in the future.  It rarely happened ever again, it was always a hit or miss.  I didn't know why and it really pissed me off.  Over the years I have tortured him with "experiments", always with another dish on deck in case the risotto didn't pan out, pun intended.  Over the past year or two I have always managed to make risotto that everyone, all 5 of us, has raved about.  I think I have figured out what the problems where and they weren't that difficult.  Risotto is really a simple dish as long as you follow some easy steps.  I don't lie about these things! 
So my oldest baby (she's 10, whatever) had to have 4 teeth removed and needed a soft diet for a few days.  She requested a risotto dish and a Frittata Dish.  No problem.  Anything for my poor cherub!  This was what I came up with and everyone was thrilled!  Not an easy feat for a family with three girls, albeit amazing girls! 
Here's What You Need
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter, unsalted
  • ½ Large Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Large Portabella Mushrooms, Chopped
  • 1 Cup Arborio Rice
  • ½ Cup White Wine, Pinot Grigio is my "go to"
  • 5-6 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 3½ Ounces Goat Cheese
  • ⅓ Cup Parmesan Cheese, I used my microplane
  • Zest of ½ Lemon
  • 1 Cup Frozen Petite Peas
  • Salt and Pepper, always
Start with the usual suspects...Olive Oil and Butter, in a large saute pan and the onions.  Cook them down for 2 minutes or so with some salt and pepper, then add in the mushrooms.  This should all cook for about 5 minutes until there is some nice color on them and then add in the rice.  Stir it around and get it coated in the mixture completely for 2-3 minutes.  Don't skimp on this step.
Now is the time to add in the wine!  I measure out the correct amount for the pan and then have a glass handy to fill for my own personal consumption.  It's my favorite step.  Don't judge me. 
Stir the rice until the wine is absorbed then it's time to add in the the broth.  Now I know I wrote "Vegetable Broth" on the ingredients list but please, feel free to use whatever you like.  I have a standard size ladle (not the over sized version) and add in two ladle fulls.  Stir, stir, stir.  Once it has been absorbed by the rice, add in two more.  I don't sit over the pan stirring the whole time, but quite often.  I am always close by and keeping an eye on what's happening.  This whole process takes about 25-30 minutes, it always varies for me, just like the amount of broth does.  I haven't figured this one out...but who cares.  It's delicious.
Risotto should be al dente.  Stick a spoon in that pan and try it at around 22 minutes to see where it is, you may have to add one more ladle and try it again in a few minutes.   Good?  Now add in the peas.  I like the petite peas rather than the regular ones but again, use what you have.  Stir it around then add in the cheese.  I break the goat cheese up to melt it a bit easier then once that's incorporated add in the Parmesan.  Stick another spoon in and try it again.  Check for salt at this point.  I never add too much in the beginning because the cheese tends to have a good amount of salt.  If it needs it, add it...if it's good, just enjoy it.
I serve this with roasted vegetables or grilled shrimp.  Sometimes I use it as a main dish and sometimes a side.  It's quite versatile in that way.  
Today because of "Toothless" I roasted  2 zucchini,  2 yellow squash and ½ of a sliced onion with olive oil, salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary on 400℉ then add in  ¼ cup of both basil and flat leaf parsley.  It was perfect for her and scrumptious for the rest.
Bon's time to eat!


  1. That looks fabulous! Love the squash and zucchini! Thanks for linking up at Share-It Saturdays, and please spread the word!!

    1. Thanks so much Erin! Loving the fun of the link up party!