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iNwine Weekend Recipe: Wild Mushroom Risotto

Wild Mushroom Risotto is a delicious idea for V-Day.
Wild Mushroom Risotto is a delicious idea for V-Day.
Image Credit: contributed

Staying in for Valentine’s Day is what many are opting for this year in Covid World. But don’t despair, cooking dinner together with your one and only or your family is a wonderful way to celebrate the day of love.

I am a freak for wild mushrooms and try to indulge whenever I can get my hands on some in season. I have always steered away from dried mushrooms as they always seemed to lack in flavour and offer a disappointing cardboard-like texture…that is, until now.

West Coast Wild Foods out of Vancouver has a range of mushroom products (and other foraged treats) sourced from the Pacific Northwest. We ordered a special feature box at Christmas that included a serious haul of mushrooms plus other goodies like two truffles, truffle oil, truffle pasta and dried mushrooms. Check out the various box offerings online here.

The special box options offer a wild range of mushrooms in season.
The special box options offer a wild range of mushrooms in season.

The Dried Wild Mushroom Mix combines seven varieties of wild mushrooms from across the West Coast. The best news is that I have seen this in local grocery stores like Choices. With a blend of golden and yellowfoot chanterelle, porcini, black trumpet, cauliflower mushroom, pine mushroom and lobster mushroom, they plump up and have the taste and texture almost like fresh.

We made a pasta feast with our Christmas time bounty box but here is another great idea that is perfect for V-Day. Risotto just seems to be in the romantic food category. Probably because it is lovely to cook together, one to stir and one to add the broth. The secret to this ultimate comfort food is to buy a proper risotto rice (like Arborio) that can absorb large amounts of liquid without turning to mush and then add the broth in small amounts while stirring constantly, which helps the rice release its starch and create a creamy texture. Enjoy with a lovely B.C. Pinot Noir or Chardonnay followed by something chocolate, of course.

This recipe is adapted from West Coast Wild Foods.

Wild Mushroom Risotto


5 Tbsp butter
40 g (1 package) Dried Wild Mushroom Mix, soaked and then drained
(Note: Put the dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and pour 3 cups hot water over them. Soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Remove the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid. Strain the liquid through a paper-towel-lined sieve and add to the chicken broth)

3 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¾ cup leek (base only), finely chopped
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup dry white vermouth
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated


In a large frying pan, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Add a portion of the mushrooms in an even layer and cook until beginning to brown then remove to a bowl. Continue cooking small batches of the mushrooms until all are cooked. Set aside. Add chicken broth with mushroom soaking liquid to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. In another large saucepan, melt the remaining butter and add in the olive oil.

Add the leek, sprinkle with salt, and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add rice to the leek and increase the heat to medium.
Stir the rice and continue cooking until it begins to look translucent.
Add white wine and vermouth, and stir until liquid for 1 minute, until the liquid has been absorbed.
Add 3/4 cup warm chicken broth and stir until almost all broth is absorbed. Continue this process until half the broth is used up and then stir in the sautéed mushrooms.
Continue adding broth in increments, stirring until absorbed.
The rice is done when it is tender and has a creamy texture.  Remove from heat and then stir in Parmesan cheese.

Serve and enjoy!

Tip: The dried mushrooms need to be soaked overnight before cooking to rehydrate. When they are soft, they are ready to be cooked and enjoyed.

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