Risotto with Wild Mushrooms & Peas
Risotto is one of our go-to comfort foods: it’s so rich, creamy, and flavorful — and it feels fancy and rustic, all at once. And this recipe, with its woody oyster mushrooms, bright pops of peas, and fresh parsley, is no exception.
We start by sautéeing the mushrooms with shallots, along with some punchy garlic and fresh sage for aromatics. Next comes the arborio rice, which we lightly toast in the pan to give the risotto some depth — and then deglaze with a pour of white wine before adding the broth.
The key to truly exceptional risotto is to add the broth in batches. This allows more starch to rub off the rice, so you get a creamier end product with evenly cooked rice. It also makes it less likely that you’ll overcook the rice and wind up with a pot of mush — which is especially an issue with arborio, the softest of the risotto rices. Instead, the arborio in this recipe cooks up with a lovely, al dente texture.
Once the last few cups of broth have been added, we stir in the peas and a half-cup of Parmesan cheese, which melts into the rice, making it even creamier and infusing everything with a subtle nuttiness. And we love the deep umami flavor of the mushrooms with the vegetal sweetness of the peas and the vibrant herbaceousness of the parsley. It makes for a wonderful weeknight meal, when all you want is unfussy, feel-good food and a glass of whatever wine’s already open.
1 cup fresh English peas
3 ½ cups vegetable stock
3 ½ cups water
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, minced
12 oz oyster mushrooms, trimmed and chopped into 1” pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chopped Gelson’s organic fresh sage
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground Gelson’s black pepper, to taste
1 ½ cups arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup Gelson’s grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
In a medium bowl, prepare an ice bath with half ice and half water. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, and blanch the peas for 1 minute, or until bright green and tender. Strain the peas, and submerge them in the ice bath. Drain well and set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring the vegetable stock and water to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and keep the stock warm.
Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and cook gently until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Note: you want the shallots, mushrooms, and garlic to be soft, but not caramelized or browned.
Turn the heat up to medium, add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring continuously, until they begin to sweat, about 3 minutes.
Add the garlic and sage, and cook, stirring continuously, until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Season the mushrooms with kosher salt and black pepper, and continue to cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Bring the vegetable stock up to a low simmer over medium heat.
Add the arborio rice to the mushrooms and stir until the grains begin to crackle. Add the white wine and cook, stirring continuously, until the wine is no longer visible in the pan.
Using a ½-cup measure, add enough stock to cover the rice. The stock should bubble slowly. Cook, stirring continuously, until it’s just absorbed.
Add ½ to 1 cup of stock and continue cooking, stirring continuously, and adding more stock when the rice has absorbed most of the stock. Continue until the rice is al dente, for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the peas and continue adding stock and stirring for another 5 minutes. The rice should be tender all the way through. Taste and adjust the seasoning with kosher salt and black pepper.
Add a final ½ to 1 cup of stock to the rice. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, working in 2 batches, until the cheese has melted into the risotto. Stir in the parsley, and remove from the heat.
Garnish with additional black pepper, Parmesan cheese, and chopped parsley, and serve hot.
Recipe adapted from: The New York Times