The risotto turned out so delicious that I knew I had to make it again, even if it was just to post about it on this blog! But then a lovely opportunity arose. I was having my girlfriend Jacq over for dinner last Saturday. She loves mushrooms and brown rice. Yes! This risotto had to be on the menu. A loving way to feed my friend and a warm goodbye to this year’s winter.
- 3 tbsp olive oil (or ghee if not vegan)
- 1 small brown onion, finely diced
- 2–4 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 3 baby fennel, finely diced
- 1 ½ cups brown rice, soaked overnight
- ½ cup French puy lentils, soaked for 4–6 hours
- 2 tbsp mirin (optional)
- 4 extra large (or 8 medium) Swiss brown or button mushrooms
- 15 g dried mushrooms (porcini or mixed)
- 5 cups (1250 mL) homemade stock or water
- ½ cup thick cashew milk (or any nut milk)
- sea salt & cracked black pepper, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F (160C/320F fan-forced).
Soak dried mushrooms in ½ cup warm water for at least 30 minutes. Keep the soaking water.
In a large, ovenproof pot with lid (I used a cast-iron pot), heat ghee/olive oil over medium heat on the stove.
Sauté onions for a couple of minutes then add garlic and fennel. Sweat fennel for about 5 minutes, before stirring in the rice and lentils.
Add the mirin if using, and when it evaporates off, stir in the soaked mushrooms, mushroom water and fresh mushrooms.
Next pour in stock/water. Bring to a boil, then put the lid on and place pot into the oven.
The risotto will take around 45–60 minutes to cook. After 40 minutes, remove the pot to check the amount of liquid remaining. If it is already at a risotto consistency and the rice isn’t cooked. Add ½ a cup of water (or stock if you have some extra). Give it a good stir, add some salt to your taste and place back in the oven with the lid on. Check periodically (every 10 minutes or so), until the rice is cooked and you have a risotto consistency to your liking. If you need to, you can add more hot water. (I found 5 cups of water enough to cook the risotto, but the amount of liquid can vary depending on soaking times, and the rice and lentils you use.)
Once the rice is done, stir in cashew milk, and salt and black pepper to your taste.
Serve with a large, green leafy salad.