Mar 2012

Skinny Wild Mushroom Risotto

I’ve never been hung up on the “rules” of risotto making… never felt pressured to heat my broth or stir constantly and I’ve never had less than stellar results. What makes this risotto skinny? Well, there’s only so much I’m willing to give up in the name of calorie counting, so my main strategy was a ratio heavily weighted on the virtually noncaloric side of mushrooms and onions. I was also very careful with the butter and oil, using just enough to squeak by…

Any way you spoon it, this risotto is toothsome, satisfying,  guilt-free dining at its best.

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1 T olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, finely diced
1  1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup white wine
1 T umami paste [optional]
32 oz chicken stock
1 pound mixed wild mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 T butter
2 T finely minced fresh thyme
2 T cream sherry [or dry sherry]
2 oz  Parmigiano, finely grated
kosher salt + pepper to taste


Serves 4 calories 430

In a medium-sized heavy bottomed saucepan, saute the finely diced onions in olive oil on medium-low until deep golden and caramelized.

Simultaneously in a separate saute pan, saute mushrooms in butter for up to an hour on medium-low,  until browned and leathery, then add the sherry and a sprinkle of salt, stir, and continue to saute until liquid is absorbed – just a few minutes. Add the thyme, stir to combine, remove from heat and set aside.

Returning to the caramelized onions – add the arborio rice and continue to saute for 3 minutes. Add wine {and umami paste} and approx 1 cup of the chicken broth and allow to simmer gently, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add broth this way {1 cup at a time} until fully cooked and absorbed – should be about 18-20 minutes of cooking time. If a thinner consistency is desired, add 1 cup of water and continue to cook and stir until desired consistency is reached. Remove from heat and stir in Parmigiano until incorporated and creamy. Add salt + pepper to taste. Fold in sauteed mushrooms – reserving some to  use as a garnish. Divide between 4 plates or bowls,  sprinkle with remaining mushrooms, and serve.

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