Saturday, January 5, 2008

Fresh Mushroom Risotto ..... Risotto Is The Wonderful Rice Dish Of Northern Italy. It Is Served With Artichoke Pesto Bruschetta

Fresh Mushroom Risotto and Bruschetta
When our oldest daughter married a young man from Milano, I learned many interesting facts of Italy. I was unaware that Northern Italy has a rice growing region which is just south of Milano. I also quickly learned that the regions of Italy have their style of cooking and are known for certain dishes. Risotto is one of the dishes of Northern Italy. Our daughter prepares two different recipes of risotto that I truly enjoy. One recipe of risotto is prepared with fresh asparagus and the other recipe I share today is made with fresh mushrooms. I purchased the fresh mushrooms at an Asian food store bacause the selection is unbelievably diverse and they are fresh daily. Pictured left to right is Brown Beech, Hen Of The Woods, and White Beech mushrooms which are some of my favorites.
The Bruschetta shown in the lower photo is made with an Artichoke Pesto sold at Peche Mignon which sells an overall elegant assortment of French items for the home and infant wear. Peche Mignon is located at 147 Clement St. in San Francisco. Telephone the owner Diane at 415-221-6000. Be sure to check her unique website at
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces of mushrooms , stems removed and sliced.
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup Marscarpone cheese or heavy cream
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped Parsley
5 cups broth or stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon oil
1/3 finely minced onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
When making risotto the number one rule is to have all ingredients measured and prepared.
Heat the butter in a skillet over moderate heat. When it begins to foam, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 to 5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Bring broth or stock to a steady simmer in a saucepan on top of stove.
Heat the butter and oil in a heavy 4 quart pan over moderate heat. Add the onion and saute it for 1 to 2 minutes until it begins to soften, being careful not to brown it.
Add the rice to the soffritto; using a wooden spoon, stir for one minute, making sure all of the grains are well coated. Add the wine and and stir until until it is completely absorbed. Begin to add the simmering broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently. Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup, reserving about 1/4 cup to add at the end. Stir frequently to prevent sticking.
After approximately 18 minutes, when the rice is tender but still firm, add the reserved 1/4 cup broth and mushrooms, marscapone, Parmesan, and parsley. Stir vigorously until the cheese is melted and combines with the rice. Serve immediately. The starches set up and cause the risotto to become firm and sticky if not served immediately. Serves 4
Lightly spread a crusty bread with butter and lightly grill. Rub with a clove of garlic and spread with a light layer of spread. I used the Lemon Artichoke Pesto from Peche Mignon. (You need to see the wonderful selection from this store!) Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and place under broiler just to brown slightly. Serve hot!

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