The village in France where I live is famous for three things - mushrooms, which we produced in great quantities until the EU came along and created economic conditions which made that no longer viable, having a name which translates most politely as "sozzled" and having such a high proportion of Portuguese residents that we get out census forms in two languages.
Well, we still have an "artisanal" mushroom producer which caters mainly for the tourists.
Although this has nothing to do with the name of the place, we still produce some wine, though far less than we did in the quite recent past, and we now have three generations of Portuguese people or those of Portuguese descent, the first having arrived here in the 1960s, escaping from poverty and fascism. All of these three elements contribute to this splendid risotto, which is a Portuguese way to prepare mushrooms in wine.
I like to use a mixture of mushrooms with about half being "button" and half something more exotic such as oyster mushrooms, or simply the big "field" variety or the really big ones they sometimes label "for stuffing."
Best served with a green salad laced with tomatoes and the rest of the white wine.
- 2oz/55g butter
- 1tbsp olive oil
- Medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely sliced and chopped
- Juice and zest of a lemon
- 9oz/250g risotto (round-grain) rice
- 12oz mushrooms — quartered if small, bigger ones sliced
- 12 green olives, stoned and sliced
- tsp mixed herbs/herbes de Provence
- 125ml/4fl.oz dry white wine
- 310ml/12fl.oz vegetable stock, hot
- Salt and black or white pepper (freshly grouns) to taste
What to do
Heat butter and oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan.
Fry the onion, garlic and lemon zest on a low heat for three minutes.
Add the rice, stir well to coat, and cook a further three minutes.
Add the mushrooms and olives and again stir well to coat.
Now add the lemon juice and wine and cook slowly, stirring, until the liquid has been absorbed.
Add the stock, a third at a time, each time cooking until the liquid has been absorbed.
When the final third has been absorbed, check that the rice is cooked. If it is still a little undercooked add a little more hot stock or hot water, and continue cooking.
Add the salt and pepper to taste just before serving.
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