Wild Mushroom Risotto & Salad

Copyright 1994 Miami Herald
Distributed by Knight-Ridder/Tribune Information Services

By Linda Gassenheimer
Knight-Ridder Newspapers

Rice is as common in Northern Italy as pasta is in the south, and risotto is a uniquely
Italian method of cooking it. The object is for the rice to absorb enough hot broth so that
it swells and becomes creamy while each grain still remains firm.

The best rice to use is a medium-grained Italian arborio, but if it's difficult to find, use a
short-grain Valencia-style rice. You will have a delicious, if not perfectly authentic,

Risotto is really very simple to make and doesn't need a lot of time. You do need to stir
for most of the time it cooks, about 20 minutes. I have shortened the usual time of 30
minutes by using a nonstick skillet rather than a saucepan. The wider base of the skillet
allows more rice to be in direct contact with the heat, and a nonstick surface lets you
leave the rice to cook on its own for 2 or 3 minutes at a time without sticking. That way,
you can start the salad while the rice cooks.

Serve the risotto with this Italian salad and some warm crusty bread and enjoy a quick
Northern Italian dinner.

This meal has 783 calories, with 19 percent of them from fat.

Some tips:

Use a microwave to warm broth and wine.

The amount of liquid needed may vary, depending on your rice. When cooked, the rice
should be creamy, not runny. Only use all the liquid if you need it. If the rice is dry but
not cooked, add a little water and cook longer.

Any type of mushrooms can be used, such as portobello, oyster or porcini.

Buy good-quality Parmesan cheese and ask the market to grate it for you, or chop it in a
food processor yourself. Freeze extra for quick use.

(Serves 2)

1 cup defatted low-salt chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil (divided use)
1/2 medium red onion, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 medium garlic clove, crushed
1/2 pound portobello (or oyster or porcini) mushrooms, sliced (about 4 cups)
1 cup arborio or Valencia rice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 

Combine stock, wine and water. Bring to a simmer. This can be done in a microwave.
Heat 1&1/2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet. Add onion and garlic and saute
2 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute another 2 minutes. Add rice and saute 1 minute.
Pour in 1/2 cup of the broth mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring every few
minutes. As the rice absorbs the liquid, add a little more. Continue to stir and add liquid
as needed. This will take 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining olive oil,
cheese and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.

(Nutritional information per serving: 629 calories; 19 grams protein; 92 grams
carbohydrate; 12 grams fat; 18 percent of calories as fat; 3.5 grams fiber; 11 milligrams
cholesterol; 262 milligrams sodium. Exchanges: 2.5 vegetable, 4.9 bread, 1.3 meat, 1.6 fat.) 

Italian Salad

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon defatted low-salt chicken stock
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 small head romaine lettuce
1/2 small head radicchio
1 cup canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

Whisk mustard and vinegar together in a salad bowl. Add chicken stock and oil and
whisk until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Wash and dry lettuces and tear into
bite-size pieces. Toss beans in salad dressing, then add lettuce and toss again. Makes 2

Nutritional information per serving: 154 calories; 9 grams protein; 23 grams
carbohydrate; 3 grams fat; 19 percent of calories as fat; 7.2 grams fiber; .04 milligrams
cholesterol; 624 milligrams sodium. Exchanges: 0.3 vegetable, 1.6 bread, 0.5 fat.


1/2 pound portobello mushrooms
1 small package arborio or Valencia rice
1 small piece Parmesan cheese
1 small bunch fresh parsley
1 small head radicchio
1 small head romaine lettuce

red onion
1 19-ounce can cannellini beans
Dijon mustard
red wine vinegar
olive oil
low-salt chicken broth
dry white wine
black peppercorns

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