Mushroom and black garlic risotto recipe

BLack garlic doesn’t actually taste garlicky – it’s quite sweet, almost like balsamic vinegar, but it adds a layer of flavor (and that’s what cooking is all about). It’s easily overpowered, so best in simpler dishes. To make it, garlic is ‘aged’ in heat and humidity for anything from 15 to 90 days. You can buy paste in jars, as well as whole heads.

Timings

Prep time: 5 minutes, plus 30 minutes of soaking time

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serve

Four

Ingredients

  • 10g dried porcini
  • 75g butter
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 8 black garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 1.2l vegetable or chicken stock
  • 300g arborio rice
  • 200ml dry white wine or dry vermouth
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
  • Parmesan grated to serve

Method

  1. Put the porcini in a bowl and add 100ml of just-boiled water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Melt a third of the butter in a saucepan and sauté the onion over a medium-low heat until soft but not coloured. Add the black garlic and let that cook for about two minutes.
  3. Put the stock on the hob and bring it to a gentle simmer. Add the porcini soaking liquid to it as well. Add the rice to the onion and black garlic and stir it round in the butter. Cook for a couple of minutes. It will become translucent.
  4. Pour in the wine or vermouth and stir, allowing it to reduce and become absorbed by the rice. Stir in the porcini – cut any that are particularly big – and, stirring continuously, add one ladleful of stock at a time. Only add the next ladleful when the previous one has been absorbed. The rice will become softer and plump up with the stock as it cooks. It should be creamy but it won’t get completely soft – there will still be a little ‘bite’ in the center of each grain. It will take 20-25 minutes.
  5. When the rice is nearly ready, melt another third of the butter in a frying pan along with the olive oil. Add the chestnut mushrooms and fry them briskly so that they get a good color all over them. Season and add these to the risotto pan along with the rest of the butter.
  6. Check the rice for seasoning, cover the pan and leave it to absorb the butter for about four minutes. Serve with grated Parmesan.

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