I’m going to make risotto for mom!” I told my sister.  It was Mother’s Day, and I wanted to make dinner.  “Risotto?  Mom thinks it’s like a rice porridge.” she said.  “Really?  Well, I bet she just didn’t have a good risotto yet.  Perhaps I can change her mind.”  I was ready for a challenge!

I’m not sure if I changed her mind, but she did enjoy the risotto, and my dad went for seconds.
I’m not sure if I changed her mind, but she did enjoy the risotto, and my dad went for seconds.

 1 tablespoon olive oil + extra if needed
1 small onion or 2 shallots, diced
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used Lone Birch – the name reminded me of Russia where birches grow free and wild)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped dill


1. Heat olive oil in a medium size heavy-bottom pot, over medium high heat. Add onion, mushrooms and saute for 7-10 minutes until the onions are soft and mushrooms have browned. Remove from the pan, and set aside.

2. Bring chicken broth to a boil, lower to the heat, and keep the broth at a low simmer.

3. Add rice to the medium size pot (where you cooked onions and mushrooms). If needed, add more olive oil. Toast rice in oil for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and cook until the wine evaporates.

4. Time to add the hot broth! (You really do want it hot – that will help the risotto to cook more evenly and quicker). Add only about 1 cup of broth at a time, waiting until the liquid almost evaporates before the next addition.

5. Test the rice – taste it. You want it to remain its bite, but not be crunchy. Don’t feel like you have to use all of the broth.

6. Once you are happy with the risotto consistency, add the mushrooms, cheese and dill. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve immediately!

What are your favorite risotto stir-ins?
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