There are so many wonderful varieties of mushrooms now available in the supermarkets that take a mushroom risotto way beyond simple to sublime. There are also some wonderful mushroom stocks on the market that you can use to make this risotto vegan if you wish, and although I am not vegan I prefer to use vegan stocks in risottos as chicken stock can often be oily and slightly unpleasant. I love Clearspring Mushroom Noodle Stock; it is great with buckwheat noodles as a quick stock, but equally good in a risotto. Mace has a great affinity with both mushrooms and spinach - and appears to act as a flavour enhancer. This gorgeous risotto can be made vegan or vegetarian.
I like to mix my mushroom varieties, and a recent visit to the mushroom stall in Borough Market was an absolute treat with an extraordinary variety of delicious and unusual varieties. But most of the major supermarkets now stock more than simple chestnut and field mushrooms these days. Tesco and Waitrose seem to be particularly inspired on the varieties they stock. Lucky us.
And, as long as you don't have an allergy to them, mushrooms are full of wonderful nutrients, including Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin. I recently read a study by a US CanSur doctor who stated he had never come across a CanSur patient who was not deficient in Vitamin D. I also add a tsp of Reishi mushroom powder stirred in at the end of cooking which is great for the immune system and helps reduce stress, improve sleep and lessen fatigue. A recent study found that post CanSur fatigue was improved after four weeks of taking Reishi powder in a group of 48 breast CanSur survivors. Recommended dose is 1tsp a day in smoothies or in a glass of water or stirred into risottos and soups at the end of cooking.
And be sure to use organic spinach. Non-organic spinach is in second place (after strawberries) on the Dirty Dozen Vegetable lists as a lot of pesticides are used. On the converse, organic spinach needs to be washed carefully, otherwise you might find some unwelcome protein!
So here is a delicious and healthy risotto using a plethora of gorgeous nutritious mushrooms.
100g organic arborio rice
125g Tesco Wild mushroom
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
60 g shiitake mushrooms
125g King Oyster mushrooms (Tesco)
2 tbs Clearspring mushroom noodle broth
2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp mace
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
100 g organic spinach, washed and sliced
2 cloves organic garlic, crushed
1 small organic yellow onion
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
60 g creamy goat's cheese OR 60 ml Eco-Mil Almond Cream
2 scant tsp Reishi mushroom powder (optional)
boiling filtered water
chopped chives for garnish
1 cup of Healing Intent **
1. Soak the porcini mushrooms in some filtered water for at least 20 minutes. After they are reconstituted, remove from the liquid and chop finely. Reserve the soaking liquid.
2. Thickly slice the King Oyster mushrooms lengthways and reserve 8 slices, and chop the rest. Finely slice the remaining mushrooms. I prefer my mushrooms chunky, but chop them if you prefer a finer risotto.
3. Heat the coconut oil and fry the garlic and onion until soft and translucent but not coloured. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for five minutes and then add the chopped porcini mushrooms, rice, salt, mace and thyme. Stir until the rice becomes slightly translucent (about 5 minutes) then add the reserved porcini soaking liquid and the concentrated Clearspring noodle broth and a cup of boiling water. Stir until the liquid is absorbed and add another cup of boiling water until it is absorbed. Continue until the rice is just al dente.
4. In a separate frying pan, gently saute the reserved King Oyster mushrooms in a little coconut oil until nicely browned and season.
5. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the spinach until it is just wilted and then add the Reishi mushroom powder (if using), stir in the almond cream, or goat's cheese if using and season to taste. Serve garnished with the King Oyster mushroom slices and chopped chives.
** Healing Intent: when cooking foods to heal the body it is important to set your intent. The best way to do this is imagine that you are cooking this dish for yourself or for someone you love who is very ill and that this dish is the only thing that will help in their healing. You will find that the way you handle the food will change, and will not only result in a better dish, but you will feel the food actually nourishing your body and spirit.