Risotto has an undeserved reputation as a complicated dish to prepare. People say there’s too much to prepare, too much stirring, not enough time… excuses, excuses! When we found out The Giri Café head chef Xavier Doménech Moreno can whip up the restaurant’s delicious boletus mushroom risotto in just 18 minutes, we had to learn the secret. Because the result – a rich and creamy, perfectly fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth risotto – tastes very far from simple! Xavi assures us however, it’s very simple to prepare and in fact, even difficult to overcook!
INGREDIENTS (serves one – please adjust for multiple)
Large handful of frozen boletus mushroom confit (pre-fried cubes of boletus mushrooms, mixed with a dash of sunflower oil, garlic, black pepper, sugar and salt to taste)
1 handful of Arborio rice per person (approx. 80g)
3 stalks of fresh green asparagus, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of Marscapone cheese (or Philadelphia)
375ml chicken or vegetable stock for vegetarian version
Chives (for seasoning)
Pine nuts (for seasoning)
1. Add the boletus confit to a hot non-stick pan* and let it break up as the oils are released from the blocks.
2. Mix with asparagus and fry together for about one minute
3. Add the Arborio rice and chicken stock, stir it up and let it simmer for 16 minutes at a medium high heat (the stock should be boiling, but not bubbling). Note – you don’t HAVE to constantly stir the rice, but do check on it about halfway through to ensure it is simmering evenly.
4. Add butter and mascarpone, and cook for an additional two minutes until the rice resembles a fluffy, light texture.
5. Serve and top with chives and pine nuts to taste.
*Of course, you can fry up fresh boletus mushrooms to taste according to the ingredients above – just add an extra five minutes to your prep time, but if you buy your boletus in a batch, it makes sense to pre-cook it and freeze it, then whip it out of the freezer for risottos on demand!