I’ve written myself a list of recipes to cook throughout the week, and tonight was supposed to be broccoli timbales but lets say I was left feeling somewhat uninspired by my earlier choice. So, looking in the fridge I decided that broccoli was a sidekick and that my mushrooms were hero. Enter mushroom risotto.

Before I start the recipe though, here are a few tips:

  • Always dry roast your pine nuts – this means put them in a frypan with nothing else. When you can start to smell them, they’re ready
  • Always cook mushrooms on a high heat – stops them releasing all their juices
  • The butter makes this dish – don’t be a no-fun, low fat person for this dish
  • Boil the kettle for your stock
  • This makes about 4 large serves- it freezes well so I use for weekday lunches. Heat in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes

Dry roasting pine nuts



  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Palmful porcini mushrooms
  • 10 medium sized button mushrooms
  • Lug of olive oil
  • Big ‘ol handful of herbs – I used parsley, sage and thyme, and also used the sage flowers on top
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 tablespoons butter (I use vegan butter made from emulsified vegetable oil)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • Small handful chopped walnuts
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (check it is gluten free if you have an intolerance)
  • Half a glass of white wine
  • 1 chilli (optional)


Soak your porcini mushrooms in about half a cup of water and preheat two frypans – preferably one large heavy based one.

Dry roast your pine nuts in the smaller frypan, and then transfer to a bowl, but keep the flame going.

Chop your onions, garlic and mushrooms. Put a lug of olive oil in each frypan and then put your onions and garlic in the big one (heavy based if possible) and your mushrooms in the other.

Allow the onions to start to go transluscent and then put your rice in. Stir it around until it goes glossy (about 1 minute), and then put the wine in. Stir again until the rice soaks up all the flavour (about 3 minutes). Every now and again give your mushrooms a stir, but by this time they should be nice and brown and you can then transfer them to a bowl for later.

Risotto Rice


Place in 2 cups of the stock, give it a stir every now and again until the rice soaks it up. Chop up your herbs and your chilli, and when the rice is ready for you to add the next two cups, add the herbs and chilli too. Put the lid on for about 5 minutes to help the rice along (and give you some time to set the table etc!). By now you should notice that the rice has significantly expanded in size and is slurping up the stock. Leave the lid off and stir it around.

Mushroom Risotto bubbling away


(Note: don’t get distracted and start taking photos of your husband and the cat – this end bit is where you need to concentrate. This may have happened to me).

When most of the liquid is absorbed (most, not all) and your rice is pretty much cooked, then add all your mushrooms (including the porcini juice), and also the pine nuts. Then add your two dollops of butter, put the lid on, switch the heat off and let it sit there for about 5 minutes (or until the butter is melted).

Yum, Yum, Yum. Sprinkle with walnuts and voila!

Moorish Mushroom Risotto