Risotto with Balsamic Mushrooms

It snowed today. Technically its been snowing for the last week, but a little bit actually stuck. Normally this would be fine, but I spent a good chunk of my afternoon on Sunday whipping my garden into shape for the spring. We have quite a few raised beds, and grow a pretty good variety of fruits and veggies during the summer. We planted seeds for carrots, spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, beets, zucchini, and onions. We also brought home a bright pink blueberry bush that I am super excited about! After cutting down the massive celery plants that had survived the winter, and totally taken over, I discovered that some of my herbs made it through the winter too!

It was a lot of work, not to mention really cold! This risotto is a fantastic way to warm up after working outside. The mushrooms are by far the best part.

Risotto

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
1/3 cup white wine
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

 

Balsamic glazed mushrooms

2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

 

To make balsamic mushrooms, heat a pan over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, let cook for 3-4 minutes. Add in balsamic vinegar. Turn heat down to medium, and let the balsamic vinegar to cook down and glaze the mushrooms until very little vinegar remains. Remove from heat and set aside until risotto is finished.

In a large sauce pot, heat chicken broth. Chicken broth should remain on heat, barely simmering throughout the risotto cooking process.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add onions and let cook until softened. Add garlic, and cook for a short time until fragrant, add salt, pepper, and thyme. Add rice, coat with the remaining oil, let toast in oil for 1-2 minutes.

One rice has toasted lightly, add in white wine, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Once wine has cooked down, add chicken stock, about 1/2 cup at a time. Continue adding chicken stock each time the liquid cooks down, stirring frequently to develop the starch from the rice. The risotto may need slightly more or less chicken stock depending on different variables. Test rice for doneness based on your own preferences.

When risotto is done cooking, add the cheese and mix in well. Mix in balsamic mushrooms.

*Also good with:
Diced cooked chicken
Artichoke hearts
Sun dried tomatoes
Topped with fresh herbs

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