Monday, September 19, 2011

Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Risotto

I intended to make this risotto over the weekend.  But, my mom and my sister Mia were out of town visiting my sister Stephanie, and my dad was home alone and therefore wanted to have dinner on Saturday and a big lunch on Sunday with my sister Hannah and me (That's too many sisters for you to keep track of, I'm sure, but Hannah and I both live in St. Louis).

My mother left late Friday afternoon, but by dinner on Saturday night (just over 24 hours later), my dad was lamenting the fact that she was gone him:  "She called me earlier, but she must have 'booty-called' me because I called her right back, and she answered but all I heard was background noise.  She hasn't texted me all day either!"  (First of all, Dad, please never use the phrase "booty-call" again!)

Naturally, by the time Sunday rolled around, he was doing anything he could to keep himself occupied, something that was apparently difficult without my mother there for guidance.  He texted me about lunch and when I responded that "whenever" worked for me, he texted me back, "K.  I'm using chain saw."  Not sure for what he was exactly using a chain saw, but I found it a little disconcerting, considering that he does not typically handle power tools of any sort.  So much for sites about "When Parents Text"--one needs to be created for "when fathers are left unsupervised!"  See my quiche recipe for further evidence that they should not be left to do unsupervised bulk grocery shopping.

Anecdotes aside, I finally got the chance to make the risotto today.  It is creamy and delicious, and I highly recommend trying it.  It certainly takes a little extra time (and patience) to make, so be prepared to spend about 30 minutes or so adding the broth to the Arborio rice.  Rest assured, however, that the end result is well worth the time invested.  It is also very simple to double it if you want to make it to share  with a guest or if you want to make extra for leftovers the next day.   Per my suggestion at the end of the instructions, I highly recommend adding extra Parmesan and a little heavy cream.  You can also sautee a little chopped onion with your mushrooms in the beginning to add flavor to the risotto.  Oh, and a tip about the white wine:  you can usually buy a 4-pack of little tiny bottles at the grocery store!

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 baby bello (or you can substitute another type) mushrooms
½ cup Arborio rice
2 tablespoons white wine
1 ¼ cups chicken or vegetable broth (can be from bouillon cubes or from a can)
½ tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup fresh baby spinach

  1. Warm the broth in its own saucepan.  If using bouillon cubes, boil two cups of water and then add dissolve 2 cubes.
  2. In a skillet, add about 1 tablespoon olive oil (or enough to coat the pan) and allow it to warm up.  Add sliced mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms are done.  The mushrooms will be tender when pierced with a fork.
  3. Add the rice to the olive oil & mushrooms, and stir for a minute before adding the wine.  Let the wine evaporate.
  4. Add the broth, about a quarter cup at a time, stirring frequently.  Wait until each addition of broth is completely absorbed by the rice before you add more.  This is the time consuming part, but be patient!
  5. Add broth until the rice is creamy and al dente, that is until the rice is firm, but not crunchy.  Stir in spinach to wilt it.
  6. Turn off heat and add butter and Parmesan cheese.  You may wish to add a little bit extra Parmesan cheese and a little heavy cream to make the risotto creamier.

Buon appetito!


  1. YUM! making this tonight... wish me luck!

    1. Good luck! Let me know how it goes! And thanks for checking out my blog!