Creamy mushroom and spinach risotto is a perfect midweek meal. I love the texture of risotto. When it is cooked to perfection it just has a hint of bite to each grain and is coated in a creamy starchy liquid bursting with flavour. If you think risotto is hard to cook, let me assure you it isn’t.
I make risotto a lot. It’s quick (ish), easy and generally speaking a very economical dish, with an infinite number of variations. Since purchasing a pressure cooker last year, I cook it even more often, as I can have a risotto on the table in under 30 minutes. Maybe the result is not quite as creamy as when cooked conventionally but for convenience sake I don’t mind that.
That said even cooked the traditional way you can knock it up about 45-50 minutes and there is something rather satisfying about stirring the rice as it cooks and transforms into a delicious, filling one-pot meal. The trick to achieving the creamy texture of a good risotto is to add warm stock, a little at a time allowing each ladleful of stock to be absorbed into the rice before adding the next one. Keep the stock at a simmer in another pan as you cook.
Mushroom risotto is a good stand by as I often have mushrooms in the fridge. A few dried porcini mushrooms really intensify the mushroom flavour. I keep them around since they are also great added to stews and casserole, and a little goes a long way. More recently I have been chucking in a handful of spinach leaves at the end of cooking as I feel it makes for a more balanced meal, but you could leave the spinach out, or try adding peas instead if you prefer.
After frying the rice briefly before adding the stock I add a little wine (which is traditional) or cider (not so traditional). It adds to the flavour and gives me an excuse to open a bottle and have a cheeky glass with my meal. It can easily be left out though. In comparison to a classic Italian risotto, which can be almost soup-like, I make my risotto a little on the dry side. If you prefer to go down the traditional route simply add a little more liquid.
I have included instructions for both methods of cooking. Whichever way you choose let me know how you get on by leaving a comment and rating the recipe. I would love to hear from you.
step by step mushroom and spinach risotto
- 15 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 1 litre vegetable stock less if using a pressure cooker see notes below
- 50 g butter
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic chopped
- 225 g chestnut mushrooms sliced
- 300 g risotto rice
- 150 ml dry white wine if desired
- handful spinach leaves if desired
- 50-75 g grated fresh parmesan cheese
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place the dried mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and cover with 150ml boiling water. Allow to stand for 15 minutes, then remove from the water with a draining spoon and slice.
- Strain the soaking liquid through a tea strainer into a saucepan. Add the vegetable stock to the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to keep the stock at simmering point while you cook the risotto
- Heat 25g of the butter with the oil in a large pan. Add the onion, and cook gently until it has softened. Stir in garlic and sliced chestnut mushrooms. Cook gently for 5 minutes until the mushrooms have softened.
- Add the rice and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until very hot. Add the wine (if using) or your first ladleful of stock and stir until the liquid has evaporated.
- Continue to add the stock a ladleful at a time and cook over a medium heat stirring until the stock has evaporated before adding the next ladleful.
- Keep cooking and stirring until all the stock has been added and the risotto has a creamy texture but the grains of rice are still firm to the bite in the centre. Add a ladle or two of hot water if necessary once all stock has been added and the rice is still too firm.
- Stir in the spinach (if using) into the risotto. Remove from the heat and add the remaining butter and parmesan cheese. Season to taste, then allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
To cook in a pressure cooker, follow the steps 1–4 above. Add 600 ml stock, secure the lid and bring to high pressure. Reduce heat to stabilise the pressure cooker and cook for 7 minutes. Release the pressure quickly (see instruction manual). add the spinach and complete as above.
Left over risotto can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, or freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat throughly before serving.