Garrison Keillor tells a hilarious story about an overabundance of zucchini during Lake Wobegon summers. He advises churchgoers to keep their cars locked and their windows rolled up during Sunday services, lest they come out to the parking lot and find that an anonymous neighbor has unloaded a bumper crop into their backseat. Of course Lake Wobegon is a mythical place compared to Portland(ia). Here, our mushroom foraging neighbors knock on the door and ask if you have any use for the extra chanterelles they brought home from the hunt. If you are lucky, you just might be invited to join in on the hunt one day.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup (plus one swig) dry white wine
4 cups hot chicken broth, more if necessary*
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for garnish
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp grated lemon zest
2 more Tbsp butter
1 shallot, finely diced
1 oz dried chanterelles or 8 oz fresh chanterelles, chopped 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
If using dried chanterelles, rehydrate them in hot water for 45 minutes. Rinse well, drain and blot dry.
In a heavy 3 quart saucepan, sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat, until onion is softened, but not browned.
Stir in Arborio rice and sauté 1-2 minutes, until you hear the rice making a clicking sound.Add wine and stir constantly on medium heat until wine is absorbed.Turn heat to low-medium.
Add 1 cup hot broth, stir, put the lid on the pot and leave it alone for a couple of minutes until the broth is mostly absorbed. Repeat this step about three more times until your rice is fully cooked.This step should take about 20-25 minutes. Keep the risotto moist, not dry. Find the balance, add more broth if necessary.
Stir in the Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons butter, lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons butter. Once it begins to foam, add shallots and stir. Add chanterelles. Season with salt and pepper and add rosemary. Lower heat to medium. Stir occasionally. Continue to cook chanterelles until they release their liquid and the liquid is cooked off.
Fold the chanterelles into the risotto and garnish with a bit more parmesan.
GILD THE LILY
Add additional garnish of dried flower petals (shown in photo).
Make a garnish of crispy shallots. Thinly slice one large shallot. Toss with 1 tablespoon flour. Shake off excess. Heat up 1/4 cup oil. Test the heat level by dropping in one slice of shallot. If it sizzles immediately, add the rest of your shallots and be ready with a slotted spoon. Once the shallots are a lovely golden color, remove and place on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper while warm. Add to your risotto.
*Use vegetable broth to make this a vegetarian risotto.
SHAKE IT UP
Add to the chanterelles, or substitute them with shrimp or scallops sautéed in butter, sprinkled with salt and pepper and finished with a squeeze of lemon juice. Add the seafood on top of the risotto or gently fold in a the end.
Do you ever wonder?
Why is it always recommended to use a wooden spoon to stir risotto? Use a metal spoon once and you’ll have the answer immediately.The spoon spends so much time in the pot.Wood doesn’t conduct heat as well as other materials, so you don’t burn your hand while stirring.