Saffron and Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4 | 45 min


25g Smoked Mushroom Garum, divided
200g button mushrooms, thinly sliced about 4mm
15g olive oil, divided
15g butter
1 yellow onion, small dice
120g Arborio rice
10-15 threads of saffron
600mL water
2 handfuls of Parmigiano, grated
10g green onions or chervil
1/2 lemon, zested
Chili oil to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste


Place a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add 10g of oil into the pan and tilt to evenly coat the bottom.  (Let the pan come to temperature - this will allow for even browning). When the oil begins to shimmer, arrange the mushrooms in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until bottom sides are evenly browned, about 3 minutes. Flip the pieces and repeat on the other side. Add butter and 5ml of smoked mushroom garum. Toss to melt the butter. Remove mushrooms and their liquid to a bowl; set aside.

Place a large sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add just enough olive oil to just cover the surface of the pan. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onions and sauté until golden brown for about 2-3 minutes.

Add the rice and stir until rice is coated in oil and pale, golden in color, about 2 minutes.

Mix the remaining garum and water to make an ‘instant mushroom stock.’ Add 400ml of the ‘instant stock’ and saffron into the pan. Using a wooden spoon, stir constantly until the stock is fully absorbed. Continue adding stock 100 ml at a time, stirring until the liquid is absorbed. Reserve the last 100 ml of stock. At this point, the rice should be perfectly al dente. (Taste the rice to check how far you are in the cooking process).

Once the rice is al dente, add one handful of Parmigiano. Fold in the cheese, add 50ml of stock, followed by the remaining cheese. Do one final taste test. If more liquid is required, add the remaining stock. If you’re looking for a richer flavor, add a few drops of garum directly into the pan.

If you run out of stock, add water to the rice to achieve a uniform consistency. The risotto should be loose enough to flatten out in a plate but not soupy or mushy.

Remove from heat. Stir in reserved mushrooms and their liquid. Serve in flat bowls and garnish with chopped green onions or chervil, lemon zest, freshly cracked pepper, and drizzles of olive oil and chili oil.

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