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Mushroom Lemon Risotto
Serves 4

This recipe is best if you use your own mushroom stock in the recipe (see my earlier post for a talk-through). Risotto should be soft, life porridge. My grandmother used to say you should be able to wiggle the bowl and see the rice undulating. So avoid cooking too long, or letting the rice rest before serving. Both will lead to a stiffer end product.

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, minced (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 1/4 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
5 cups chicken stock (or mushroom stock, if you made it), warmed
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
Minced chives for garnish

Heat the oil in a 4-quart heavy bottom pot over a medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until the onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir for about 2 minutes, until the rice is covered with oil and loses its opaque quality. Add the white wine. It will boil rapidly. It’s okay. Cook until the wine is absorbed, about 30 seconds. Add 2 cups of stock. Stir frequently to ensure the rice doesn’t stick. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the rice absorbs all the stock. Add another cup of stock and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so.

Taste the rice: it should be almost al dente. If it is still rather tough, add more stock and continue cooking. Different altitudes affect how much stock is necessary to cook the rice. Stirring the risotto is necessary to release the starches that make it porridgey.

Add the butter and garlic, and after you have stirred them in, add the mushrooms. And salt and pepper to taste. Stir well, and then add the remaining cup of stock, the lemon juice, and zest. Cook the rice until it has absorbed all of the stock, another 5 minutes.

Check the seasoning. Serve immediately garnished with minced chives.