Posted by: Ernest Barteldes | August 3, 2017

When Mom Visits, You Cook Something Nice, Easy & Delicious + Mushroom Risotto



By Ernest Barteldes


I don’t usually cook dinner on weekdays for the simple reason that Renata and I have very different work schedules that would force us to dine at odd hours if we ate together from Monday to Friday, but since my mother is visiting from Brazil this week (she’s also spending time with my sister in Chicago), I decided – on the evenings I wasn’t teaching – to make something a little more special that wasn’t too labor-intensive.

I am a big fan of meat-free risottos – they are easy to make even if it means stirring the pot for the better part of thirty minutes.  Though a bit labor-intensive, it is a meal that only requires a single pot and not much on the side except for maybe some veggies.

I opted to make a mushroom risotto, a dish is a bit of a favorite in our household but that for reasons I cannot explain I haven’t made in a while (probably because I have been experimenting with various other seafood or poultry-based dishes of late) – so I made my way to the nearest supermarket and set out to get the necessary ingredients.

For the side, I made a simple mixed green salad with cucumbers. It was a festive dish even though it was easy and quick to prepare – and quite delicious. I made double the amount of the below recipe so we could have leftovers for lunch the next day – since it is something I do on a regular basis.


Mushroom Risotto (stock photo)

Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 cup risotto (or long-grain) rice

8 oz. white mushrooms, sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 cup dry cooking wine

4 cups vegetable broth or water.

2 tbsp. grated parmesan

Salt and black pepper to taste

Chopped parsley, for garnish.



In a large pot, sauté the garlic in half the olive oil until fragrant and add the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms, stirring occasionally until they release their liquid and it evaporates.  Season with salt and black pepper and remove the mushroom mix with slotted spoon. Using the same pot, add the remaining olive oil and add the rice, stirring for about a minute. Add the wine and stir vigorously until absorbed. Add a cup of vegetable broth or water one cup at a time, stirring constantly, making sure the rice does not attach to the bottom or side of pot until the rice is al dente. Remove from heat, stir in the reserved mushrooms and parmesan. Cover and let stand for five minutes before serving, and serve with a garnish of chopped parsley.

Wine pairing suggestion: Sauvignon Blanc.

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