August in Northern Finland means autumn already. And autumn is my favorite season when it comes to produce and seasonal ingredients. Autumn is the perfect time for foraging, too, as nature seems to leave the best for the last. It’s in this season that one can find lingonberries, currants, cranberries and, especially, mushrooms. Mushroom foraging has been a passion both in my family and my husband’s and finally last year we asked our families to train us into the mushroom picking culture. To our great happiness, we live right next to a forest that, with a little rain and a little sunlight, becomes packed with mushrooms. This is a particularly good year for porcini, and we definitely are not complaining about it!
Last year we already shared a very traditional recipe, that is the Wild Mushroom Salad and also the Creamy Mushroom Soup. This year is the turn of an Italian classic, the Mushroom Risotto.
A few tips before we start going through the recipe:
- Pick your mushrooms from a very clean area, as mushrooms have the tendency of absorbing toxins around them.
- Being a risotto, you can imagine how important the quality of the rice is for this recipe. I recommend using either arborio or carnaroli rice, which are the very classic ones that are used in Italy.
- Risotto is that kind of food that has to be eaten as soon as it’s ready so if you have some guests coming over, time it right.
- Parsley is optional, but in my opinion essential to give that fresh touch to this dish.
- This recipe calls for wild, tasty mushrooms and the amount needed is according to their taste. So if you substitute wild mushrooms with for example champignons, you will need to add much more.
- 50 g butter
- 1 big onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 120 g wild mushrooms such as porcini, slippery jack and birch bolete
- 400 g carnaroli or arborio rice
- 100 ml white wine
- 900 ml vegetable or meat broth
- 35 g grated parmesan cheese
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Parsley optional
- Clean and grossly chop the mushrooms.
- Place the butter in a saucepan until it’s melted.
- Finely chop the onion and pour into the saucepan together with the garlic clove. Let it sizzle for a couple of minutes and add the mushrooms.
- When the onion and mushrooms have sauteed for a few minutes and take on a golden color, add the rice and let it toast for a minute or two.
- At this point, pour the white wine and stir until it’s fully evaporated.
- Add the broth and let the risotto cook on medium heat until the rice is fully cooked.
- Mix in the parmesan cheese.
- Adjust with salt and pepper.
- Serve warm with fresh, chopped parsley and added parmesan cheese.