Chestnut mushroom, thyme and toasted pine nut risotto

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Mushroom risotto is one of my favourite comfort-foods.  Apart from the time spent stirring (which I actually find strangely therapeutic) it’s really simple to make and it’s just really delicious and always manages to make a bad day a bit better.  I served this one with a rocket salad plus ciabatta and some dipping oils plus a creamed asparagus dip.  (I bought the asparagus dip from an Italian deli but will definitely be making it in the future as it was really delicious and simple to make.)

(Serves 4)

For the risotto:

  • 1 large mug of Arborio rice
  • 2 punnets chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 1 red onion (chopped)
  • 1 glass of dry white wine
  • 2-3 pints of vegetable stock (I use Kallo organic vegetable stock cubes)
  • Handful of fresh thyme
  • Handful of toasted pine nuts
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to season
  1. Drizzle the olive oil into a large pan
  2. Add the garlic and onion and cook for a few minutes to soften
  3. In a second pan add the vegetable stock and keep this simmering on a low heat 
  4. Add the rice and cook for a few minutes on a fairly high heat until the edge of the grains of rice begin to go translucent
  5. Turn the heat to low
  6. Add the glass of wine to the rice and stir
  7. Continue to stir the rice until the wine is absorbed, all the while “massaging” it in order to release the starch, which adds to the creamy texture of the risotto at the end
  8. Add stock from the other pan as you go and continue to stir the risotto for a few more minutes
  9. Add the mushrooms and half of the thyme
  10. Continue with the process of stirring and gradually adding the stock for approximately 40 minutes.  You want the rice to be cooked but still to retain a slightly nutty texture
  11. Before serving add the salt and pepper to taste, the toasted pine nuts and the remainder of the fresh thyme

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For the lemon dipping oil:

  • Small cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest of one lemon
  1. Combine the ingredients and and allow to stand at least one hour before serving

For the rosemary dipping oil:

  • Small cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Handful of fresh rosemary
  1. Combine the ingredients and leave to stand for at least one hour before serving

Serve with freshly baked ciabatta – You can make your own but I cheated and bought mine from Waitrose!

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