Creamy Mushroom Risotto with Green Beans

Risotto (an Italian rice dish using Arborio rice) is often a favourite at a restaurant, especially because many people don’t make it at home, or you’re a bit scared to try. This is because it’s not just a “throw it in a pan” kind of dish, it takes a little bit of love but if you follow the recipe it’s easy, and well worth it. It has a rep for being hard to make, and long-cooking, but that’s not the case, you could make it in 15 minutes once you’ve tried it. You need to be involved, so you can’t just pop it on the stove and leave it for 30 minutes whilst you do something else.

How to start making risotto? First things first; when we make risotto, we have a glass of wine in hand, some music and have some company to chat to. Step 2 > follow this deliciously creamy risotto recipe with mushrooms, green beans and parmesan crisps.

So get your ‘vino’, the ingredients and get cooking.

Level

Beginner

Category

  • Gluten Free
  • Vegetarian
  • Winter

Cuisine

  • Italian

Cooking Methods

  • Cooking

Serves

6

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cooking Time

30 minutes

Ingredients

For the Risotto:

  • 30ml (2 Tbsp) butter
  • 15ml (1 Tbsp) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 500g Arborio rice
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) white wine
  • 1.25l (5 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) cream
  • Parsley, to taste and chopped
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • Salt and black pepper

For the Topping:

  • Olive oil
  • 2x 250g button mushrooms, halved
  • 350g green beans, top and tailed and cut into 2cm pieces
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the Parmesan Crisps:

  • 60ml (1/4 cup) parmesan cheese, finely grated

Directions

For the Risotto:

  1. Heat a large pot over a moderate heat with the butter and olive oil. Sauté the onions, carrots and garlic for about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the Arborio rice and fry, stirring for another 1-2 minutes to get a nice nutty taste on the rice.
  3. Add the wine and cook out while stirring.
  4. Now add the stock LADLE BY LADLE while stirring, ONLY adding more once the previous ladle has cooked away.
  5. Once all the stock has been added and the rice is al dente, add the cream, parsley and parmesan cheese.
  6. Check for seasoning and season to taste. Serve straight away.
  7. For the Topping:

    1. Heat a frying pan with a dash of olive oil. Sauté the mushrooms and green beans until cooked. Season to taste.
    2. For the Parmesan Crisps:

      1. Pre heat the oven to 180°C.
      2. Place a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray and spray with non-stick food spray. Place the parmesan thinly in different shapes on the tray and bake for about 3-5 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven – it will crisp up upon cooling.
      3. Serve the risotto topped with the mushrooms and beans. Garnish with parmesan crisps and black pepper.

Notes

Avoid making some common risotto mistakes > use these tips to ensure you get the risotto perfect:

  • Choose a pot that fits your burner perfectly so that you get even heat on the base of the pot. (not too big)
  • Use the right rice. You can find Arborio rice (risotto rice) at Food Lover’s Market stores. When adding the rice to the sautéed onions take time to “toast” the rice while stirring. Before adding the wine.
  • Use hot stock. (Use the microwave to heat up the stock if you have to; whatever you do, DO NOT add cold stock!)
  • Add the stock slowly, do not add it all at once.
  • Keep stirring, don’t over stir, but don’t under stir. Sound complex, but Bon Appetit explains it perfectly: “Stirring the rice constantly will add air into the risotto, cooling it down and making it gluey. But if you don’t stir enough, the rice will stick to the bottom and burn. Agitating the rice is important because risotto’s creaminess comes from the starch generated when grains of rice rub against each other. So stir it often, but feel free to give your arms (and the rice) a break”
  • If adding vegetables (apart from the mirepoix in the beginning) make sure that they are cooked, and added once the rice is done.
  • Serve it hot. Have your serving bowls ready to serve the risotto when it’s done!
  • Add butter or your favourite cheese at the end.

How do you know when the Risotto is ready?

The risotto is ready when the texture of the risotto is just the other side of al dente — soft with a little tiny bit of crunch/bite. It should not be mushy or starchy.

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