Early snow

We have had the coldest November for years, according to the reports. True enough, I don’t recall ever seeing a snowfall in November since I’ve been in the UK. Until yesterday, that is.

As previously documented in this blog, it seems I have a thing for snow  and risotto. (I also have a thing for snow and hot chocolate, preferably spiced). It must be that nothing seems to give me that wonderful feeling of feeling satisfied and, most importantly, hot inside, as a big bowl of creamy risotto does.

Mushroom Risotto

For 4


1 lb (500g) mixed mushrooms e.g. chestnut, shiitake, flat, field etc, sliced
4 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbs chopped parsley
1 onion, chopped
6 oz (175g) arborio or other risotto rice
2 ¼ pints (1.5 litres) hot vegetable stock
3 oz (75g) cheese, grated (optional)
1 tbs finely chopped tarragon
ground mace
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Sauté the mushrooms briskly for just a minute or so in 2 tbs of the olive oil, adding the crushed garlic and chopped parsley once the juices begin to run. Draw off the heat, cover with a lid and set aside.

Soften the onion in the rest of the oil over a gentle heat, covered, for 6-7 minutes. Then add the rice and stir until it is well coated with oil. Add a ladleful of the hot stock and simmer, stirring until it has been absorbed, then add another ladleful of stock. Continue adding the stock a little at a time and simmering until the rice absorbs the liquid before adding more.

When all of the stock has been added and the rice is fully cooked, stir in the cheese (optional) and tarragon. Season with mace, salt and pepper, fold in the mushrooms with all their juices, and serve.


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