A Risotto, as you would mostly know, is basically a creamy Northern Italian rice dish cooked using a specific variety of short grain starchy rice called arborio rice and a broth. There are many variants of this dish based on the broth, ingredients (proteins or veggies), wine(red or white) and spices used to cook it. Consistency of the finished dish should ideally be creamy, not watery.
However, I did not use arborio rice for my recipe, instead used regular brown rice as I wanted something less starchy, more healthy and slightly nutty texture. Though I used the same cooking techniques as a risotto, it will probably be frowned upon by staunch Italian food lovers 😉
Ingredients (Serves 3)
Regular Brown Rice : 1 Cup (soak it for an hr or two to make the cooking process faster)
Broth : 3-4 Cups (you can use chicken, veg or any other meat based broths)
Red Wine : 1 Cup (you can also use white wine but I like this better with Red)
White Onion : 1 large, diced small (you can also use red onion, if you don’t have white)
Garlic (optional) : 2-3 cloves, crushed and minced (you can avoid this if you don’t like it)
Salt : To taste
Black Pepper : Ground 1 tsp
Mushrooms : About 200 gms (Porcini, Baby Portabello, Shiitake or Regular Button)
Olive Oil : 2-3 tablespoons
Butter : 20-30 gms
Parmesan cheese (optional) : About 30-50 gms based on your taste and liking
Green peas : Frozen, About 100 gms, boiled retaining the color and keep aside.
- Drain the rice and keep it aside.
- Clean and remove stems from the mushrooms. Slice the mushrooms thin across the crown.
- Use a slightly deep non stick pan with a lid, heat it on the stove & pour the olive oil in.
- As the oil heats up, add the butter and wait for it to melt.
- Now add the garlic and onions and sauté until they are translucent.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté’ until they leave water, turn darker and reduce in size.
- Add the rice and stir it well so that the oil coats every grain of the rice. Add some of the salt and pepper and sauté for a minute or two.
- Add the red wine and continue stirring until it is almost evaporated.
- Now add about 2 cups of the broth, stir well, adjust salt n pepper, turn down the heat to simmer and cover with a lid.
- Check after about 10-15 minutes. If the rice is still not cooked, add more broth, stir it in, adjust salt if required and put the lid back on.
- Check every 5 minutes if the rice is cooked. If not, add more broth if required until the rice is almost cooked(al dente). This is because depending on the variety of rice the cooking time may vary.
- Add the grated parmesan and half of the green peas. Stir it well and turn off the heat. Due to the tight and creamy texture, the heat will be retained and rice will continue to cook for some more time.
- Serve in a regular flat plate or in a special risotto/pasta plate. Garnish with some green peas and parmesan shavings. I had some left-over pesto and I used that as a garnish. Have it hot 🙂
Alternatives : You can of course make it using regular or brown arborio rice. You can also cook the risotto in a pea puree, giving it a nice green color. Asparagus is another common addition to a risotto, but you need to ensure that you discard the bottom couple of inches and it is cooked/blanched just enough so that the bright green color is retained.