I have always been fond of rice, but when we moved to Asia, it pushed me over the edge! The rice aisle in any supermarket in Hong Kong look like our flour isle: the variety of flavours, brands and sizes is completely overwhelming! Proper Asian cooking has taught me the value of rice, so when I saw this deliciously creamy primi course in Jamie Oliver’s book Jamie’s Italy, I had to try it! According to Italy Magazine, rice was grown in Italy as early as the 13th century. Risotto Milanese is one of the most famous Italian rice dishes that, according to legend, was the result of a painter’s assistant adding saffron to rice sauteed in butter and cooked in a bone broth already in 1574. While the dish then disappeared from popular cooking until three centuries later, it has taken its place in the legendary Italian cooking with the first risotto dish named in recipe books the 1800’s. Here is the famous British chef’s take on the classic.
Jamie Oliver’s Grilled Roasted Mushroom Risotto with Parsley
You will need – for the basic risotto
- 2 cups of risotto rice
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 or 5 sticks of celery
- splash of oil and a knob of butter for frying
- 1.1 litres of stock (chicken or veggie)
- a large glass of dry white wine
- 70g butter
- 115g grated parmesan cheese
For the rest of the dish:
- 200g wild mushroom, cleaned and torn
- olive oil
- Seas salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bulb of garlic, peeled and halved
- a small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- a small bunch of basil (the original recipe uses flat-leaf parsley, but I prefer basil)
- 1 lemon
- a generous helping of grated parmesan
Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
Heat the oil end butter in a large saucepan and slowly cook the onion, garlic and celery until soft.
Then add the rice and turn up the heat. Stir the rice so that it is coated with butter and oil. Add the wine, and keep stirring.
Now slowly add a spoonful of the stock while stirring. Once the first batch had been absorbed, add another. This is a slow process, but so rewarding! Once all the stock has been absorbed, the rice should be cooked. Taste the risotto and season to taste. It’s also important to test it to make sure that the rice is done (you can add more boiling water if it’s not yet cooked).
When the risotto is almost done, quickly fry the mushrooms in a hot pan with a splash of oil for about 2 minutes. Then place them in the preheated oven with the garlic, thyme and butter and roast them to develop the flavours.
Remove the risotto from the heat and gently stir in the butter and parmesan. According to Mr Oliver, it’s essential to let it rest with the lid on for a couple of minutes to give it that beautiful creamy texture. Once it’s ready, stir in the chopped parsley. Chop half of the mushrooms and roasted garlic, and stir into the risotto with a good squeeze of lemon juice.
To serve, place a generous helping of the risotto on a plate with some mushrooms on top. Sprinkle with parmesan.