Risotto is a classic dish that everyone should know how to make – the flavouring options can change with the seasons, but this makes use of the earthy mushrooms, fresh thyme and zesty lemon. You will need to stand and stir to get the perfect creamy al-dente consistency, but it’s worth it.


  • 2 cups Arborio or other risotto rice

  • 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms

  • 500g mixed fresh mushrooms (wood ear, shimenji, swiss brown, shiitake)

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 2 Tbsp ghee

  • 1 Tbsp butter

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves

  • 1 brown onion, finely diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1 cup verjuice or dry white wine

  • Zest of ½ a lemon

  • ½ cup Parmesan, grated

  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

  • Fresh parsley, chopped, to garnish


  • 1.

    Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in the boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain in a fine sieve, reserving the liquid, and finely chops the mushrooms, then set aside

  • 2.

    Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add half the minced garlic and assorted fresh mushrooms then season with salt. Sautee the mushrooms until they are slightly golden (you may need to do this in batches as over-crowding the pan will mean the mushrooms just stew and won’t turn golden). Once cooked, reserve the mushrooms and return the pan to the heat

  • 3.

    Add the ghee and onions and other half of the garlic and cook until soft and slightly golden

  • 4.

    Add the rice and cook, stirring to coat the grains, for a few minutes or until translucent

  • 5.

    While the rice is cooking, place the stock, verjuice and porcini liquid in a small saucepan over medium heat and slowly bring to a slow simmer

  • 6.

    When the rice is translucent, add the stock mixture 1 cup at a time, stirring continuously until each cup of stock is absorbed and the rice is al dente (around 25–30 minutes)

  • 7.

    During the third addition of stock, add the reserved sautéed mushrooms and chopped porcini mushrooms

  • 8.

    Add the butter, lemon zest and cheese and stir until well combined (this will set the perfect creamy consistency of the rice)

  • 9.

    Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately

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