Nov 29, 2011

Fungus Freak

You know that old joke about being on a see-food diet?
I'm often on it.

The day after Thanksgiving (known to some as Black Friday, but I don't go for that), we took my parents to one of my favorite places, the Louisiana State Arboretum

Schooled in horticulture and not mycology, I should have paid more attention to the plant life.

But what's above my eye level doesn't catch my eye nearly as much as what's below.

The word fungus doesn't have the same vibe as, say, flower.  But I think fungi can be as beautiful as flowers.

Part-way through our hike, I started craving earthy mushrooms, thinking about all the ways I could cook them. 
I've always wanted to learn how to identify wild ones.  Some hunt wild turkey.  Others, wild boar.  Me, I'd like to bag some wild mushrooms.
Not in the arboretum, of course.

But I don't know the difference between edible, psychotropic, and deadly.
For all I know, this itty bitty cutie could lay me out cold.

Gambling isn't something I do very well.
But, I can shop like nobody's business.
Just not on Black Friday.

Making risotto is a lot like hiking in the woods.

Quiet, rhythmic movement.  

A long, peaceful journey.

Good to sit down after it's over.

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Mushroom Risotto

8 oz mushrooms, chopped or sliced
a couple of tsp vegetable oil
salt & pepper to taste
2 TBSP olive oil
about 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 c Arborio rice
1/2 c white wine, room temperature
about 3 1/2-4 cups chicken stock (you may not need the full amount)
a pinch or two of dried thyme
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
chopped fresh parsley

Simmer the stock in a saucepan.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Sear the mushrooms so that they brown on the edges.  Season with salt and pepper and remove from the pan.

Lower the heat to medium and add the olive oil.  Add the onion and saute until translucent.  Add the Arborio, stirring to coat each grain with oil.  Saute for a few minutes until the rice starts to color.

Add the wine, stirring constantly until the liquid is gone.  Add 1/2 cup warm chicken stock and dried thyme.  Stir while cooking until all of the liquid is gone. 

Continue adding stock, stirring, and cooking until the liquid is gone.  When the risotto is close to being done, you may want to start adding stock 1/4 cup at a time to avoid overcooking.

When the risotto is the texture you'd like, stir in the mushrooms and Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.  Top with chopped parsley and more Parmesan.

linking with:

Love Bakes Good Cakes
Food on Friday: Mushrooms @ Carole's Chatter
Nap-Time Creations
Hearth & Soul HopPermanetPosies.comLark's Country Heart

Around My Family Table

Simply Delish

Friday Food



  1. I'm just starting to eat mushrooms after years of " I don't like mushrooms" .. now I do and this is a perfect recipe to try.

  2. risotto never fails to make my mouth sing. same with mushrooms. i'd love to get some sort of guidance not only for mushroom foraging but foraging in general. There are so many wild edibles out there - you'd never have to buy veggies again!

  3. Love mushrooms and your risotto looks so delicious! Thanks for another great recipe!

    I tried to comment on the Potluck post, but couldn't, so thanks for hosting!

  4. I too have often wondered of which mushrooms from the wild would be tasty, they all look good... for now, I'm sticking to forging in the markets... great risotto

  5. This is the second blog I've commented on in thirty seconds that featured mushroom risotto! I think the food gods are trying to tell me something....

    Looks delicious!

  6. This looks great! And, your photos are lovely. Stopped by from Turning the Table Thursday.

  7. Thanks for sharing this delicious dish with the Hearth and Soul @ Mom's Sunday Cafe.

  8. Love the mushroom pics. Thanks for sharing with Simply Delish.

  9. I may be a fungus freak too! Love mushrooms....cooked...not raw. If that was the only vegetable for the evening, I would be great with it. I also LOVE large lima beans....saw that too. Thanks for sharing on Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits. Took me all week to get around last week's entries. Hope you will come back. It will be up tomorrow after 5 PM.

  10. What lovely photos! I've never seen fungi as beautiful as that!

    I really like your mushroom risotto too - the flavours sound fantastic, and there is nothing like a warm and comforting risotto for dinner! Thank you for sharing this post with Let's Do Brunch.

  11. Anonymous12/09/2011

    Slightly late, but thank you so much for linking up to Friday Food last week on! The pictures are just lovely, it's amazing what you find while hiking about. ~Shannon

  12. Lovely pics and dish. Thanks for linking it in to Food on Friday: Mushrooms. Have a super week.


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