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Mushroom Risotto with Lemon and Mint


When I was trying to decide what to put underneath my marinated grilled octopus, I thought: risotto! Normally risotto is my "use-whatever-you-have" kinda dinner, but I asked my boys what they thought. Jake said mushrooms, D suggested lemon, and R wanted mint. Sounded good. So, I made a mushroom-lemon-mint risotto.

Ingredients makes 8 servings
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 T butter
  • splash of olive oil
  • 3 C sliced fresh mushrooms (I used a medley of mushrooms from Far West Fungi that included canary oysters, "regular" oysters, and shitakes)
  • 2 C arborio rice
  • 2 C farro*
  • 6 C stock
  • 2 C boiling water
  • 8 oz marscarpone cream
  • juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • marinated grilled octopus (recipe to come)
  • fleur de sel
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 C fresh herbs (I used mint and parsley)
*I didn't have enough arborio rice on hand, so I supplemented with farro, an ancient variety of wheat. This is flexible. You can make it with any kind rice or even barley!

Procedure
Bring your stock and water to a boil. Then reduce it to a simmer and keep it on a burner adjacent to your risotto pan.

Melt 2 T butter with a splash of olive oil in a large, flat-bottom,  pan. Add the garlic and cook until it begins to caramelize. Add mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms soften. Add in the rice and farro and stir until completely coated with oil and butter.

Add one ladle of simmering broth at a time, stirring, stirring, and stirring some more till the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until the rice is soft. If you need more liquid, just add more; if you don't use all of the stock, that's okay, too.

Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest. Season with fleur de sel and pepper to taste. Stir in marscarpone cheese and fresh herbs. To serve, spoon out individual servings, lay a marinated grilled baby octopus atop your risotto. Serve immediately.

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