Tag Archives: wild mushroom

Wild Mushroom Risotto

…or, No-Recipe Risotto!

Last week was my first visit of the year to the Piedmont Farmers Market, so you can imagine I got a little feverish when faced with all the great food I’d been missing. The result was locally raised beef (BEST hamburgers I’ve ever had), lots of strawberries, tomato plants, roasted peanuts and wild shiitake mushrooms that were as big as portobellos.

I at first thought the mushrooms were too expensive – $1 per cap, roughly. But when you price it out, it’s still about $6 cheaper than you’d find at Whole Foods – the mushrooms are much larger, fresh and grown locally, which is always better for every reason.

This year, I made it my goal to get over my mushroom aversion. I’ve always hated the taste and texture of fungi – they felt squishy between my teeth – but the earthy quality of wild mushrooms is slowly walking me to the other side. These beautiful, big mushrooms helped me take a giant leap: wild mushroom risotto.

I’m finally getting the hang of risotto. Finding that balance between al dente and too-mushy rice…grainy versus chewy. You want it creamy and smooth, but the rice grains to still hold on to their integrity.

The risotto formula is usually the same, so I whipped this up on a risky whim – without a recipe. I’ll do my best to describe how I did it below, but adjust to your preferences…

Wild Mushroom Risotto


  • 1 c. sliced wild mushrooms (I used shiitake)
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 3 shallots sliced
  • 4 sage leaves, ribboned
  • 4 c. chicken stock or broth
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine
  • Little over 1 c. arborio rice (if you add more, increase stock by 1 c.)
  • 1/4 c. Parm-Reg cheese, shredded (more for serving)
  • Handful chopped fresh parsley

Bring stock to simmer on back burner.

In large Dutch oven, heat on medium. Add bacon and cook until crisp – drain on paper towels. Add shallots and cook for 1 min. Add mushrooms and sage – stir until softened and fragrant, 1-2 min. Add rice and stir to coat, 1 min. Add wine and deglaze pan, reducing heat to low. Stir until absorbed.

Add 1/2 c. stock and stir until absorbed. Repeat with remaining stock, stirring constantly. When rice has just lost that grainy bite and is all creamy, add in the cheese and reserved bacon. Stir to combine – season with salt and pepper.

Serve with more Parm-Reg cheese and parsley.

This was really good, folks. The mushrooms weren’t too chewy or spongy, but played nicely with the smoky-salty bacon, buttery Parm-Reg cheese and light shallots. I’m a little jealous that I let a lucky guy take the leftovers to work …

One thing is for certain: I will be buying way more fungi and locally raised/grass-fed beef from now on. You just can’t compete with the quality (or price).

Enjoy your spring bounty, friends! xoxo


Bacon and Leek Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Poached Egg

Bacon and leeks. One of my favorite combinations of flavors – whether that’s baked into a quiche or tart with Gruyere or mixed into a creamy risotto. Here, I added wild mushrooms, which gave it an extra nutty flavor once they browned in the bacon fat. I also added a few grates of nutmeg, because it goes so well with leeks.

The photos don’t do this dish justice. And word to the wise, don’t skimp on the bacon. Use the thick, butcher-shop kind for the best flavor.

I told you I had more runny-egg dishes up my sleeve…

Adapted from Bon Appetit.

Bacon and Leek Risotto with Wild Mushrooms and Poached Eggs


  • 6 large eggs
  • 5 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 oz shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 2 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice or medium-grain white rice (about 10 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh Italian parsley leaves (for garnish)
  • Additional finely grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
Bring large skillet of water just to simmer over medium-low heat. Sprinkle water with salt. Working with 1 egg at a time, crack into small bowl and slide egg into simmering water. Cook eggs until whites are cooked through but yolks are still runny, 3 to 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, carefully transfer poached eggs to medium bowl filled with ice water. DO AHEAD Eggs can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate in same bowl of ice water.

Bring broth to simmer in medium saucepan; cover to keep warm.

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp, stirring occasionally. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Add mushrooms to drippings and saute 2-3 min, until browned. Drain on paper towels. Add leeks to drippings in pan; cook until soft but not brown, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer 2 generous tablespoonfuls leeks to small bowl; reserve for garnish. Add rice to pan; stir 1 to 2 minutes. Add wine; stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup warm broth to saucepan; stir until broth is absorbed. Repeat adding broth and stirring until rice is tender but still firm to bite and sauce is creamy, stirring almost constantly, about 23 minutes total. Add bacon, mushrooms, chopped parsley, butter, and 2 tablespoons cheese. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Meanwhile, heat poached eggs in medium skillet of simmering water just until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes.

Divide risotto among bowls. Top risotto in each bowl with poached egg. Sprinkle egg with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley leaves, additional cheese, and reserved leeks.