|Truffled Mushroom Risotto: heady aromas, perfect for fall and winter suppers|
Recently, I've been expressing my disenchantment with fancy-pants foods and trendy culinary caprices, but I think truffle oil – olive oil infused with the signature heady aroma of the truffle – is one gourmande staple that's here to stay. For one thing, it's actually been around since the 1700s; we Americans just happened to come late to the truffle oil party. And then there's the one-of-a-kind, primeval flavor – a magically deep, woodsy hit of umami that harkens back to some fairy godmother's woodland kitchen.
Yes, truffle oil is pricey, but it's still much cheaper than buying a whole truffle like the one I bought for while I was recetnly in Paris [350 Euros a kilo!]. Fortunately, a little goes a long way. For me, cooking is all about ease – getting the most pleasure for the least amount of effort.
|This risotto is flavored with dried porcini and chanterelle mushrooms, fresh shiitakes and white truffle oil|
Other truffle oil uses
Generally, black truffle oil is a bit stronger, while white is more delicate and garlicky. I prefer white, and I only buy Italian truffle oil; I find the quality is generally better. Besides its obvious use as a risotto enhancer, I also like to add just a few drops of truffle oil to soups, potatoes and other starchy veggies, and beans. When I crave something gourmet but am too tired to fuss in the kitchen, I'll drizzle a few heavenly drops over pasta topped off with some nutritional yeast, freshly ground white pepper, and sea salt.
Before I give you the risotto recipe, don't forget to enter the Smarter Cookie giveaway contest. I'm announcing the winner in a few days.
Wild, Truffled Mushroom Risotto
- 8 cups vegetable stock. [I recommend Better than Bouillon No Chicken Base]
- 1 carrot, cut in 3
- 1 celery stalk, cut in 3
- 1/2 cup mixed, dried wild mushrooms [eg, oyster, chanterelles, morels, porcini, shiitake; I used 1/2 chanterelles and 1/2 porcini]
- 1 1/2 T olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 cups chopped, fresh wild mushrooms [Oyster, chanterelles, morels, porcini, shiitake, maitake, etc.]
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1/2 cup Pinot Grigio
- About 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- About 1-2 T Earth Balance
- Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- About 1 T truffle oil [More or less, to taste]
Prepare your stock: Mix all stock ingredients in a large stock pot and heat to a simmer. Have a ladle ready.
Make risotto: In another large stock or soup pot, heat the oil over medium and sauté the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add salt as needed, to slow down the cooking time.
When the onions are soft, toss in the mushrooms and cook until soft, about 5 more minutes. Toss in the risotto and stir to coat. Cook for one minute on medium. Turn the heat up to medium-high and pour in the wine. Let it cook until the rice evaporates the wine.
Turn heat to medium low. Add broth, one ladle at a time. Allow rice to absorb broth and then repeat until rice is al dente, about 30 minutes. Be sure to taste it; you may have to cook longer.
Add the nutritional yeast and Earth Balance. Stir well, then close the lid and turn off the heat. After about a minute, mix again, add salt and pepper to taste. and drizzle with truffle oil. Serve with the same Pinot Grigio you used in the risotto.