1 lb assorted fancy mushrooms, chopped (awesome variation: sub 1.5 lbs whole peeled san marzanos with the innards squeezed out and chopped up)
1/2 cup diced onion or shallots
1 qt broth
1 cup wine
2 tbsp olive oil or earth balance
1.5 cups arborio rice
2 more tbsp olive oil or EB
Salt and pepper to taste (if using tomatoes, add 10 leaves fresh basil, shredded, or several shakes of dried basil)
Notes before beginning: making this takes around an hour; if you use tomatoes, an hour and a half. however, it is completely worth it. for mushrooms buy wood ear, porcini, etc; pick stuff that looks exciting. button and crimini, even portobellos, will not give you the depth of flavor that you want. make sure the rice you use is arborio or carnaroli, because if you don't it will come out all wrong and be a big waste of time. DO NOT wash the arborio before using it. i know some people tell you to do this, and i can't think why, because that takes off some of the starch that makes it so creamy and wonderful! also, i cook risotto at high heat (8 of 10) because i want to spend as little time actually cooking as possible; it needs stirring the whole time, and risotto is heavy. it doesn't need to be stirred at top speed or anything, just fast enough that it doesn't stick and burn.
- Heat wine and broth in a small saucepan. DO NOT boil.
- In a much larger one, sauté onions in first 2 tbsp oil/EB until golden.
- Add mushrooms (or tomatoes) and sauté a bit more. They should reduce in size and get browner.
- Add rice and stir until well mixed.
- The broth mixture should be well-heated at this point; add a ladleful to the rice, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed. You will know this has happened when you can scrape the bottom of the pot and it stays clean for a few seconds.
- Once it has been absorbed add another ladle of broth and again stir until absorbed; repeat until all the broth is gone. When all the broth is gone, the rice should be very tender and have expanded quite a bit, and should look like it's in a creamy sauce. The mushrooms should be much smaller and darker than they were to start with.
- Add remaining olive oil (or EB), salt, and pepper (and basil if using). Cook, stirring, for a few more minutes. Serve immediately, or remove from burner and cover until ready to serve. For tomato variation, a few chunks of Veganrella melted into the mix adds a nice cheesiness.
my instructions are way too detailed, but actually it's quite easy to make, though it does take a bit of time. but it's rewarding, because everyone will love it.