Don’t know if many of you ever stumbled upon an interesting fact on rice, but I watched the other day a whole documentary on it and was fascinated with the story. Rice has been known for 4500 years and it is the oldest known food that is still consumed today. All the way from China where it originated it spread over India and Sri Lanka. It didn’t take long until it traveled to Europe, Greece to be exact and Mediterranean. The reason behind it is that the rice grain can grow almost anywhere due to its versatility, it can even grow in the desert conditions. There are approximately 40000 varieties of rice and there are products like wine, vinegar, beer and sake made from it. The most interesting fact is that Chinese Ming dynasty even used rice in building of the Nanjing city walls, where it was giving stability and strength. Not only that there are so many interesting facts but it is also really delicious, no matter the dish you make it in.
When making risotto the possibilities are endless. You can make any kind of vegetable risotto, but one of my favourite is mushroom risotto. When making mushroom risotto I like to use Shiitake mushrooms. They contain so many health-boosting properties, like copper which our body can’t synthesize and copper deficiency can lead to coronary heart disease. The interesting fact about them is that they don’t have roots, leaves, blossoms or seeds which categorizes them as fungus. Still their smoky flavour and rich texture made them one of the most popular mushrooms used in cooking.
After the mentioned facts preparing this dish can be more interesting and you can always share a fact or two with your guests. A bit of this risotto always takes me to China where I would love to go, but until I do I have food which can take me there.
Preparation: 20 min
Cook time: 25 min
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 300 g arborio rice
- 400 ml vegetable stock
- 250 g shiitake mushrooms, sliced and washed
- 1 glass white wine
- 20 g butter
- handful fresh parsley, chopped
- handful fresh shallot
- salt & pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium flame and add the chopped onion and pressed garlic. Let it simmer until soft. Stir in fresh, sliced and washed shiitake mushrooms and cook for another 10 min until softened.
- Stir in arborio rice and add white wine. Let it simmer until the alcohol evaporates. Keep it over medium heat and add half of the vegetable stock. Let it cook and occasionally stir until rice absorbs the vegetable stock.
- Add half of the remaining half of the vegetable stock and let it cook. Now the rice should be getting creamy and plump. Add as much of the remaining stock if needed and let it cook for a few more minutes. Now the rice should be cooked so remove from heat. Stir in butter, fresh shallot and parsley. Serve warm and creamy!