Spring woodland treasures matched up with creamy, cheesy risotto! Yup – a fiddlehead fern, ramps and wild mushroom risotto! I went with an organic Asian blend, including Shiitake, Brown Beech and Oyster mushrooms. The Shiitakes added a nice depth of flavor – umami for the win – and the Brown Beech and Oyster provide their unique textures. Use whatever you can find, but look for a range of flavor, texture and shape.
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until tender, about 2 – 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook until coated and starting to turn a bit translucent, about 3 minutes more. Stir in the wine and cook until it is evaporated, about 1 minute.
Meanwhile, heat the stock in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and keep it just below a simmer.
Add about 1 cup of the stock to the rice. Stir frequently until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring until mostly absorbed before adding the next ladle of stock. The rice will become tender – but not gummy – and creamy at about 25 to 30 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, melt the butter and remaining olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the mushrooms, in batches if space requires, starting with the least delicate and ending with the most delicate (Brown Beech if using the mix above). Add the ferns and ramps and stir to combine. They will wilt slightly from the heat of the mushrooms.
Once the rice is nearly ready, gently stir in the vegetables and grated cheese. Taste and season as needed with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Whistle that group to the table now! Risotto waits for no one. (and NO!!! you can’t make this ahead – well – or “freeze beautifully”! So, don’t even ask.)
Substitute 2 cloves of garlic and 2 chopped scallions in lieu of ramps. Add the garlic with the butter/oil and add the scallions last with the ferns and delicate mushrooms.
If you can’t find fiddlehead ferns, maybe try young spring asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces. Sauté with the mushrooms.
Keywords: mushroom risotto