Brown rice risotto with black trumpet mushrooms

By Katherine

There is a little tree on top of the mountain

When Greg talks about how easy it is to make risotto, I nod wholeheartedly in agreement gulping wine and watching him stir. I do love to watch him stir. Wait where was I? Oh yes, the simplicity of risotto. But in more than a decade of togetherness, I’d only made risotto twice, once with him standing over my shoulder. That effort came out perfectly, but the batch of asparagus risotto I attempted years ago was a waste of good vegetables and rice. (Greg says that’s just a trickier recipe, but I’m not sure he’s being truthful.)

In any case, with him running late one night and my appetite in overdrive, I took the plunge. And let me tell you risotto virgins, if I can nail it you can too. Also, I am a little worried about the search engine terms that last sentence might bring.

Instead of using Arborio rice, I used an Italian brown rice that was in our sample pack from Marx Foods, along with the mushrooms and truffle salt. The rice soaks up more liquid and has a nuttier flavor than Arborio. It also took a bit longer to cook, around 30 minutes.

Brown rice risotto

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup Italian Integrale rice (see note)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup dried black trumpet mushrooms
  • roughly 4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano
  • 1/4 tsp black truffle salt or 1/2 tsp truffle oil (optional)
  • salt/pepper to taste

Place dried mushrooms in a measuring cup and fill with a cup of boiling water. Allow to soak for about a half hour. Then squeeze out all the liquid, reserving it, and chop the mushrooms. Pour chicken or vegetable stock in a sauce pan and heat to a simmer. Melt butter and olive oil in large saute pan. Add garlic and saute on medium heat until softened, about 1-2 minutes. Add rice and mix well to coat in the oil on medium heat, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook until it evaporates. Add liquid from the mushrooms and cook until rice absorbs it. Switch to simmering chicken stock and add about a cup at a time. Each time the rice absorbs most of the liquid, add another cup of stock. When about four cups worth of total liquid has been absorbed season with salt and pepper, but do not add too much salt because the Romano is slightly salty. Continue to add stock until rice is creamy and has no bite. When rice is creamy add cheese and stir to incorporate. Turn off heat and allow risotto to sit for about 10 minutes.

Note: Here’s how Marx Foods describes the rice I used: “Integrale rice is an Italian brown rice (whole grain/unpearled rice) that can be used to make risotto. Because the outer bran is left on, this rice offers additional nutrients and fiber, as well as a different texture and taste, when compared to other risotto rice varieties.”

Bonus risotto story: A few years ago, Greg and I were in St. Louis visiting a friend and ate at an Italian restaurant on The Hill. An elderly man next to us kept pestering the waiter, while his wife hid behind studied the menu. “It’s been 25 minutes, why isn’t our risotto here?” The longer this went on, the more agitated I became. Finally, I leaned over and said: “Good risotto takes time you numbskull, you’re lucky they’re not flash freezing it or parboiling it or whatever lesser restaurants do!” OK, I didn’t say that, but only because Greg grabbed my hand and the risotto finally arrived. Also, I’d only had one glass of wine. It all reminded me a little of Stanley Tucci:

About Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide

This blog attempts to collect some of the things I try to create with food and booze. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. My hope is to entertain and maybe help people think a little harder about what they decide to eat and drink.
This entry was posted in Dinner, Food, Italian, Recipes, Rice/Risotto, vegetarian and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

94 Responses to Brown rice risotto with black trumpet mushrooms

  1. sallybr says:

    Loved the idea of brown rice for risotto, must try it sometime…

    and, loved learning a new word: numbskull! Gotta use it around my beloved, he will definitely wonder where did I learn that one 😉

    • Katherine says:

      So glad I can help in the insult department! I love Urban Dictionary’s first definition: someone with a numb skull, i.e. someone who feels no pain when you whack them repeatedly upside the head..

  2. I am a risotto virgin (love that term). I have never met a risotto I liked, much less felt like consummating the relationship. But if I were going to consider even dating risotto, I would want to make it with integrale rice. OMG, “make it.” Yeah, right.

  3. egg me on says:

    Well done, Katherine! Hopefully you rewarded yourself with more than few glasses of wine. I’ll have to try Integrale rice myself. I’m very curious.

  4. What a lovely post. I love hearing stories of people’s food triumphs. I hope all of your experiments are just as successful as this one.

  5. nrhatch says:

    Yay, you! I’ve never made risotto . . . but I like watching other people stirring it. 😉

  6. Maureen says:

    I love making risotto and I’ve never had a disaster. It does take lots of attention and the inevitable tasting for seasoning. I just love it. Never tried the brown rice but I’m definitely going to give it a try. Well done!

  7. BrainRants says:

    I’m digging the tree. Never got risotto right myself.

  8. I made a risotto the other night with the last of my arborio rice. Your version looks delicious, so I’ll have to pick up another bag!

  9. I am a bit nervous about making risotto but you have put my mind at ease a little bit lol. I am still nervous, but at some point I am going to have to take the plunge and just make this.

  10. Kudos on conquering your risotto fears!
    🙂 Mandy

  11. A_Boleyn says:

    Congratulations on the risotto. I’ve only made it a couple of times myself so I’m still the V-word too. 🙂

  12. peasepudding says:

    I have just made risotto this evening too, beetroot, broad bean and feta, so I have bee doing a bit of stirring too! I love your combo and brown rise for a change.

  13. rsmacaalay says:

    Look at that plate, I suddenly missed my mom who just left two days ago. She made mushroom risotto during her vacation here in NZ

  14. Zo Zhou says:

    Ooo, that sounds great. Thanks for mentioning and expanding on this special brown rice, now I just need to track it down…!

  15. ChgoJohn says:

    I remember the 1st time I made risotto and it was a revelation. I’d always thought it was too difficult to attempt, and this after watching Mom make it countless times. Much like you, Katherine, I “took the plunge,” and then wondered why I hadn’t done so earlier. I’d no idea there was a brown rice suitable for risotto and will look for it. Thanks for both, a great recipe and a healthier rice.

  16. Kudos to you! This is on my must try list now

  17. Just excellent recipe – must try it.

  18. Well done to you – I don´t know why some fancy chefs make out risotto is so tricky and “cheffy”, it´s not! Have you ever tried an oven baked risotto? It´s even easier and no standing and stirring! Love the recipe and love scene from Big Night, well, it´s just such a great film 🙂

  19. I meant “love THE scene” – otherwise it sounds like I´m talking about a saucy X rated scene in the film (of which there are none) 😉

  20. This looks amazing! I love a good risotto!

  21. Delicious and nutritious, can’t beat that! Looks great!

  22. I’ve made a lot of risotto (though not nearly as much as my wife would like), and asparagus is the only one I’ve screwed up, so I’ll agree that it really is just a trickier recipe.

    • Katherine says:

      Well then that might have to be your Valentine’s Day meal. Greg said it was the balance of broth that’s tricky in asparagus. Use too much of the asparagus water and blech….

      • I’ll just stick to what I’m good at. In this case, that would be pancetta, grape tomatoes, spinach, and asiago (my “go to” risotto). Maybe with some morels, inspired by your trumpets (which I know I won’t find around here).

  23. spree says:

    Katherine – brave girl, good job! I love that you love watching Greg stir – that speaks of such love, so sweet! Loved too the little bonus risotto story you threw in and the running commentary in your head that nearly escaped! I don’t think I’ve ever seen black trumpet mushrooms dried, or heard of that particular kind of brown rice but will go searching.

  24. zestybeandog says:

    This looks fantastic! I have yet to brave making risotto… but now I think I may give it a whirl. 🙂 Thanks for inspiring me!

  25. Kristy says:

    “She is a criminal!” LOL! Great clip. I love risotto. Love, love, love it. I too have only made it myself twice. I usually leave it to Mike. We tried it with barley and mushrooms recently and loved it. I’m sure this brown rice version would be fab too. 🙂

  26. spicegirlfla says:

    Well done Katherine! You won’t believe this but I have a risotto post coming out today!! I was so surprised to see yours, but then again, great minds think alike!! I love making risotto, it’s relaxing for me!!

  27. Yummy recipe! I leave risotto to Hubby – I’m too easily distracted.

  28. TasteFood says:

    What a great recipe. I love fiddling with risottos.

  29. this is something i used to have all the time growing up but we didn’t call it risotto of course. I just remember my grandmother putting rice with beef stock and lots of yummy mushrooms in a casserole dish and slow cook it all day on the lowest setting possible! This looks delicious

  30. lisahudson says:

    Oh my gosh, I’m laughing out loud over here. Big Night is one of my favorite movies! Love it!!! “Sometimes spaghetti wants to be alone!” Classic stuff. Great clip. Made my day. Beautiful risotto, by the way. Will have to try it with the brown rice.

  31. A brown rice suitable for risotto, combined in its nuttiness with earthy mushrooms? A match made in heaven, virginal or not! Looks and sounds beautiful.

  32. Sissi says:

    Brown rice risotto? I have never tried it. It sounds like a nice change… Risotto is such a falsely easy dish. One bad gesture and it’s spoiled, but otherwise it’s just about stirring and stirring and stirring… I only prepare it when I have lots of patience.

    • Katherine says:

      Thanks, Sissi. I let the rice almost get too dry at one point, but the broth’s right there, so it was an easy fix.

    • A_Boleyn says:

      I agree with the ‘falsely easy’ statement and the need for patience. I tend to be an impatient cook so on my first attempt I bumped the temperature up higher only to find that doing that just results in having to use more broth because the liquid evaporates rather than remaining in the pot to simmer and cook the rice. You end up with crunchy rice to which you have to add more broth, or once you run out of broth, water, cause the salt in the broth concentrates, and, with the addition of Romano it can end up too salty. 😦

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  34. ceciliag says:

    I love risotto and as long as you have a glass of wine beside you i don’t mind the pouring and stirring, in fact it makes the dish really personal somehow, standing over it and chatting and stirring.. love it.. c

  35. Joanne Ozug says:

    Hehe I always love your stories! Beautiful risotto!

  36. Caroline says:

    Ah yes, risotto still intimidates me. I do the same thing…sit there and watch my mom stir and perfect her delicious risotto. One day I’ll tackle it…one day! Yours sounds fantastic. Would never have guessed that you weren’t a pro. 😉

  37. eva626 says:

    that look so yummy and you guys are so creative!!!!

  38. Courtney says:

    Risotto can be very tricky – good for you for giving it another go. And I love that you used brown rice instead.

  39. Sydney Jones says:

    Love the idea of brown rice for risotto, must try it sometime…Yummy 🙂

  40. Karen says:

    Katherine, your risotto sounds absolutely delicious. Good for you for making a perfect risotto on your own…I can’t wait to try it. I’ve been out of town for awhile and just catching up on your posts. You have been making some delicious food.

  41. Amy says:

    hehe, i wish you would have said that to the gentleman! But he probably still woudln’t have appreciated the risotto! This looks delicious…I’ve never heard of that type of rice but it sounds like a nice addition.

  42. Everything about your risotto sounds divine! Such an earthy yummy number – LOVE!

  43. I love the nuttiness of brown rice, Katherine. I’ve never tried black trumpet shrooms! Will go hunting around for some this weekend.

  44. Tandy says:

    I am so glad you have got this perfect – it opens up so many great meal possibilities 🙂

  45. GroundCherry says:

    You should try half brown, half wild rice! That was my favorite risotto combo for a long time. I don’t make it often anymore (not quite sure why… perhaps the rice cooker?), but it was always a crowd pleaser. Soak the wild rice first so it doesn’t take two years to cook.

  46. Alisa says:

    First time I cooked with brown rice I was surprised at how long it took to make it. A friend of mine also recommended soaking it for 30 minutes to an hour before cooking, so it would be easier to cook.

  47. Katherine, I am still laughing about your cooking antics with Greg. I can so picture that whole scene. I like the idea of the healthier version using brown rice. Take care, BAM

  48. That film clip made me laugh so much. Our chef was a bit like that, I lost count of how many arguments I had with him. His main saying was “We have a menu why don’t they use it?”. People would always order: that but without that, and with that instead, but with that on the side, it drove him (and me I admit) totally mad!! When I make risotto with brown rice it takes about an hour and double the amount of stock! I need to find this brown risotto rice…..

  49. samology says:

    I love risotto with mushrooms! Just got myself equipped with some arborio rice and ready to spring into risotto action! haha

  50. Risotto can be tricky at first (I remember second-guessing myself a LOT the first few times I made it), but once you’ve figured it out, you’re golden. I love the idea of brown rice risotto – I never even knew such a thing existed!

  51. I, too, enjoy reading about you all and your cooking experiences. Loved the story as well.

  52. Stef says:

    I’ve never had risotto – but I hear it’s awesome. I’m a true risotto virgin. 😉

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  55. petit4chocolatier says:

    Great story! I have never cooked risotto. And after watching Master Chef and Hells Kitchen I wonder why they mess it up so much. Yours looks incredible and delicious!!

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  57. Ha! I love the ingredients in this recipe enough to give up my virginal risotto status! 🙂

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