This recipe from Stephanie at Steph In Thyme is here at the perfect time! It looks like the most amazing mushroom risotto I’ve seen! I can’t wait to try it!
On Valentine’s Day, I prefer to avoid restaurants – even though it seems like a no brainer activity for the special occasion. I always feel pressured by restaurant staff to sit, eat, then leave so they can flip the table for the next couple. Hurrying through a meal is no way to enjoy it or the company you’re with. My idea of a romantic Valentine’s date night is cooking together in the comfort of our own home, sipping wine and savoring the quiet, quality time. And what better meal to prepare together than risotto? Not just any risotto – a classic risotto elevated from creamy comfort food to rich, elegant romantic indulgence with earthy wild mushrooms and thyme.
For wild mushroom texture and flavor, this recipe includes three approaches – both fresh and dried mushrooms as well as black truffle salt. The sliced shiitake, baby bella, and oyster mushrooms are simmered along with arborio rice and vegetable broth. This softens the mushrooms while at the same time preserving their beautiful “meaty” texture.
Dried mushrooms are one of my new favorite ingredients. I recently used dried mushrooms in a creamy mushroom soup. I’ve also ground dried mushrooms into a powder and combined it with cashew cream as a garnish on my morning eggs (it sounds weird, but it’s good, I swear). Instead of kosher salt, try seasoning this risotto with black truffle salt. While this kind of salt is a bit pricey, I’ve found that a 4 oz jar goes a long way and is well worth the investment. I use it on just about everything. It’s amazing what a little mushroom powder and black truffle salt can do to enhance the flavor of a dish.
Pulsing the dried mushrooms in a simple coffee grinder creates a pillowy powder, which is then dissolved in the simmering broth and rice for even more mushroom flavor. If you cannot find dried shiitake mushrooms, dried porcini are a great substitute.
Folding in minced thyme, a touch of light cream, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese at the very end of cooking gives the risotto that special “little something extra.” Naturally creamy from the starchy Italian arborio rice, a touch of light cream makes the risotto silky. If risotto is a meal you don’t eat often, why not do it right?
The serving size of this recipe is generous, so if you are munching on appetizers while cooking, you’re bound to have leftovers (which is never a bad thing). If you and/or your Valentine are meat eaters, this risotto will pair nicely with steak, prime rib, or a meaty fish.
What are your Valentine’s Day plans? What is your favorite “date night” meal? Please share in the comments!
Doesn’t that look delicious? Stephanie always has the most beautiful and healthy recipes. Be sure to follow her on her blog and social media sites (links below) so you don’t miss any of them!