Posted on September 14, 2012
It’s been a very eventful week to say the least. I’ve been back and forward to Sweden and am now back in China and Shanghai. The weather in Sweden as in Shanghai is leaping from summer heat, sun and nights on terraces one day and rain and a bit of autumn chill in the air the next day.
Right now I’m sitting in a café with the rain poring outside the window, lit candles, a cup of green tea in my hand and I’m actually wearing jeans. As anyone who visited Shanghai during the summer months know, wearing anything thicker that cotton and silk is practically impossible for a long time, so wearing jeans is a safe autumn sign.
This makes me crave a more hearty meal, one that you can enjoy with a nice glass of red wine and lit candles when the nights get darker and darker. Also, being back home in Sweden reminded me that mushrooms are now in season.
As always, my mood translates into the pots and pans and this time the result is a mushroom and asparagus risotto. No cream, no cheese, just a delicious, whole foods based, filling and comforting one-bowl dish.
Making Risotto, you have to cook like you give a damn. It takes a bit of effort, time and love to make the dish perfect so unwind, put on some good music and pour yourself a glass of wine and let it take the time it takes, it’s worth it. Constantly stirring and tasting is key to getting it really creamy yet complex, you don’t want the rice to be overcooked and get a mushy porridge. Adding the ingredients at different times also makes sure that you get a meal with diverse textures and flavours.
What you need (serves 4-5 people):
Risoni or other risotto rice, 5 dl
Vegetable stock, 1 l (I used 1,5 stock cubes)
Shallot, 1 big banana shallot or about 4 ordinary ones
Olive oil (it is hard to say exactly how much since you constantly add during the cooking process)
Asparagus, 2 big handfuls
Mushrooms, any type you like, I used ordinary forest mushrooms, about 15 medium sized
Garlic, 1 clove
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh parsley, 2 handfuls
How you do it
Bring 1 litre of water to boil and add your stock cubes or powder, lower the heat and let it simmer.
Add the chopped shallots, minced garlic and uncooked rice in an other large pot together with about 1 dl olive oil on medium heat and stir. Add the mushrooms and stir for just a minute or two, don’t let the rice change colour.
Then little by little, about ¼ at a time, add the stock and gently stir so the rice don’t burn in the bottom of the pot. You want the rice to have almost fully absorbed the water before adding more. Also add olive oil from time to time when needed.
Chop the asparagus and throw them in. When the rice is almost cooked add the sliced leek.
Serve on big deep plates and sprinkle with some freshly chopped parsley. Done and done!
Catie just started training to become a sommelier, yay. She just visited Kronovalls Wine Estate in the southern part of Sweden for a couple of days as part of the training. Jealous, me? Noooo! But it’s all about teamwork, and as her wine expertise is being sharpened as we speak, we can’t wait to share and add some wine pairing tips in the future.
Until next time…
Have a lovely weekend!