A Wild Mushroom Risotto with Garlic & Leek, Perfect for Autumn
How I came to cook a vegan mushroom risotto, all started this morning with our friendly Portuguese neighbour. He lives almost entirely off of the land, growing his own fruit, vegetables & raising his own chickens to sustain his family, he called out to us across the field, waving something in the air, which J, my husband, initially thought was a large bathroom loofer!
Turns out he was foraging mushrooms & had a large sack full of his foresty finds. Truddging across the freshly rotavated earth, he handed us a bunch of giant mushrooms, bigger than anything you would ever find in a supermarket. He told us they were delicious & how he likes to fry them up with lots of olive oil & garlic.
Mushrooms & Risotto go so well together and it is rather a classic dish, so finding myself with an armful of these giant fungus, making a vegan mushroom risotto was my first thought on how to use them.
Cooking with Wild Mushrooms
We have never had any experience with wild mushrooms, either finding them, or eating them, so after the initial niceties of a neighbor bringing you things growing abundantly from the land, I got slightly worried, I didn’t know what they were or if they were even safe to eat. They definitely weren’t anything like the usual button mushrooms I buy in the shop so we decided to err on the side of caution & spent nearly 2 hours trying to identify the exact mushroom. I even messaged a good friend of mine who is a conservationist & forest ranger to get her opinion.
Type of Mushrooms to use in a Risotto
With the help of Google, we successfully found our mushrooms, they are Singer Parasol Mushrooms, found growing in our region of Europe (Portugal) & some parts of England. They are edible! *Claps hands* Vegan Mushroom Risotto is a go!
However, I have never before spent so long reading about mushrooms & there are certainly lots of varieties that are poisonous or can cause stomach upsets & even hallucinations, so if you decide to go foraging for your own mushrooms to make this delicious vegan mushroom risotto recipe, be sure to check up on what you are picking before you start cooking!
This mushroom risotto will work well with any kind of mushrooms, wild or shop bought.
Satisfied our ones were of the non killer variety & we would not be ending the night with a visit to the hospital, I set about preparing a mushroom risotto. Vegan of course!
A classic dish & perfect for a cool Autumn evening.
The turmeric in this gives the dish a gorgeous Autumnal hue & the spinach is optional but it just adds a dash more color, I love spinach & put it in most things if I can!
Vegan Garlic Mushroom Risotto – An Autumnal Favorite
1 litre vegetable stock
250g fresh mushrooms (any variety you like) chopped
1 small leek (around 100g) chopped finely
8 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
250g Risotto Rice (Also called Arborio rice)
Handful of spinach (fresh or frozen – optional)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
What to Do:
Prepare a litre of vegetable stock in a saucepan & once simmering, leave it on a low heat.
Add the crushed garlic & leeks to a separate saucepan, big enough to cook the whole risotto in & gently cook in a little olive oil with a pinch of salt, until fragrant & starting to brown. Add the mushrooms & stir in with the garlic, saute for a couple of minutes before adding in the spices & the risotto rice.
Stir well again & then add a ladle of the vegetable stock.
Now the risotto part begins. Keep adding the vegetable stock, one ladle at a time until each ladleful is soaked into the rice. Keep stirring to avoid the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Once all the stock is used, add in the spinach & stir until it is wilted & mixed through.
The process should take around 20-30 minutes.
The key to serving a risotto is to plate up as soon as it is ready. Risotto is best eaten when it is hot & freshly cooked!
Serve with a slice of crusty bread or some more fresh spinach on the side.
This is optional, but If you have it, you can add some vegan Parmesan cheese on the top or sprinkle with some nutritional yeast to give the cheesiness associated with a non vegan risotto. It is just as great without though!