Discover mushrooms outside the buttons and bellas. Beech mushrooms are either white or brown. They are tiny and cute and the texture is the thing to go for. They grow in a little clump that you can pull or cut apart. I prefer to pull to keep the grain of the stems in tact.
Risotto gets a bad rap as a “hard” dish. It’s easy. Really freaking easy.
Make the broth:
1 Cup of quality stock or 1 bouillon cube in 1 Cup of water ( when I run out of stock I use a wonderful herb bouillon that is vegan and salt free)
3 Cups water
3 TB dried parsley flakes
1 TB granulated garlic
1 TB granulated onion
Put all the ingredients in a pan and heat on high. Stir them around a little. While this warms up…
Measure 1 1/2 Cups of arborio rice into a 4 qt pan. Turn the heat to medium high. Pour 1 Cup of the broth mixture in and stir rapidly. Now, a lot of risotto recipes will suggest that all these things are at a certain temperature and bubbling point… blah blah blah… it’s bogus. Just add a half cup of broth and stir then add in another half cup when that is absorbed.
After adding the 3rd full cup of broth, stir in 8-12 oz of beech mushrooms. Break the colony up before you add them to the pan. They don’t separate easily once they start to cook. After adding the rest of the broth, stir in about 4 cups of baby spinach— that’s 3 good handfuls or one of the little bags of pre-washed. Don’t measure spinach. When in doubt, add more.
Stir all this together. The spinach will wilt down so much, I promise it will all fit. The risotto will look creamy and delicious. But wait! There’s more!
When nearly all the liquid is absorbed stir in the last 2 ingredients
1/3 Cup Parmesan cheese
2 TB butter
Previously, there was no added fat in the recipe. Traditional risotto is finished with butter and cheese. This makes the dish very creamy and cozy and contrasts the spinach well.
Cooks note for whole meal prep: When I add my first full cup of broth, I put my chicken on the grill. I flip my chicken after the 3 cup of broth and remove the chicken after I add butter to the risotto.