Mushroom Risotto with Spinach and Goat Cheese

Have you ever gone to the grocery store and somehow neglected to take one of your bags with you at checkout?

Of course you don’t discover this until you get all the way home and of course the bag has the most expensive ingredients in it for something you plan to make that day.

Or am I the only person in the world who has done this?  Multiple times….

So I did that when I planned to make this dish and it was frustrating to no end because all I wanted was some soul-warming risotto with all of my favorite ingredients in it.

That’s all.  Just needed to vent about that….

Eventually, I did get my ingredients back and made this risotto and it was all I dreamed it would be.  You could pretty much put mushrooms, goat cheese, and spinach in anything and I would devour it.  I used to be a little hesitant about goat cheese, but fell in love with it last year after making these Lemon-Raspberry Bars.  If you’ve never tried goat cheese, I highly recommend giving it a shot.

As a disclaimer, risotto is not difficult, but it is a bit time-consuming.  To make it via the traditional method, you basically have to stand over the pot for 20-30 minutes and constantly stir it while adding more liquid to the rice.  However, I can assure you that it is worth it in the end.

Step One:  Find a cute boy who will chop onions for you while wearing your rain boots (but only because he was taking your dog out in the rain).

Start this recipe by putting the dried mushrooms in a medium-sized bowl and pour 3 cups of hot water over them.  This will re-hydrate the mushrooms as well as give you amazing mushroom-flavored water to add to the risotto as you cook it.  Soak the mushrooms until they are softened, about 20 minutes.  Remove the mushrooms from the liquid and chop them into bite-sized pieces.  Pour the mushroom liquid through a paper-towel lined sieve (this gets any loose particles out) into a medium saucepan, add the chicken broth, and bring the liquid to a simmer.

Dried mushrooms

Re-hydrated mushrooms

In a medium pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the chopped mushrooms, arborio rice, and the salt and cook for about 2 minutes until the rice turns opaque.

Add 1/2 cup of the simmering liquid and stir until the liquid has been completely absorbed.  Continue this method adding the liquid, a 1/2 cup at a time while stirring until absorbed (otherwise the rice will start sticking to the pan).  After 20 minutes, start adding the spinach into the risotto a handful at a time until the leaves wilt from the heat.

The rice will take about 25-30 minutes to become tender and you may need to add additional chicken broth or water to get the rice to the desired texture.  Generally, I prefer a creamy texture, but others may want the rice to be a little bit al dente.

Once you’ve reached your desired texture, adjust the seasonings and add in the butter and goat cheese.  Serve the risotto with Parmesan cheese.

Build up the fire, grab a good book, glass of wine, and a bowl of this and you have yourself a lovely little evening!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried porcini or other dried mushrooms (about 1 ounce)
  • 3 cups hot water, more if needed
  • 3 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth, more if needed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Pepper
  • 2 ounces mild goat cheese, such as Montrachet, crumbled
  • 1/2 pound of baby spinach leaves
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving

Serves 4

Recipe Adapted from Food and Wine Dried-Porcini-Mushroom Risotto with Goat Cheese

BONUS LEFTOVER TIP!

If you’re looking for a snazzy way to use up any leftovers you may have, here’s what I concocted:

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.  Form the risotto into the shape of a hockey puck or smaller.  Coat both sides of the risotto cake with Panko bread crumbs.  Cook the cake until golden and crispy on both sides, about 7-10 minutes.  Meanwhile, fry up an egg.  Once the risotto cake is crispy, top it with the fried egg and drizzle some sriacha on top.  Simple, fast, and delicious!

Clever Leftover creation! Risotto Cake with Fried Egg and Sriacha

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Categories: Pasta, Recipes

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