The days of February here have been lacking light. Sometimes for a stretch of 3 or more days at a time. Skies are pale grey and the air is cold. Infact, it is snowing steadily as I type this post.
I miss the sunshine.
I miss looking at green outside.
I tell myself that spring is only a few weeks away, and March is just around the corner. March is when my thoughts will be consumed with garden plans, starting seeds - happy spring preparations.
In the meantime, comfort things have been getting me through these dimly lit weeks.
I've had a bag of arborio rice in my pantry for weeks.
I have been wanting to make a risotto dish for awhile...
and wanted it to be infused with lemon, mushroom, and lots of fresh herbs.
Comfort and rustic elegance. That's what I think of when I think of risotto.
I made a mushroom and lemon risotto, that I adapted from this recipe.
I used both cremini and baby bella mushrooms - cooked with olive oil to make a mushroom liquid to add into the rice.
I love mushrooms. So earthy and filling. I even eat them raw in salads and pastas.
Scallions, chives, parsley and garlic bring aromatic texture to this dish.
I was happy to find a local microgreens farm recently. I added some of those too.
I've been putting together inspiration binders lately.
I have three. One for food photography and styling inspiration, one for recipes I want to try, and one for gardening tips. I just tear out the photos I am really inspired by, and put them in a clear page protectors. I think the process really helps you understand what styles you are drawn to.
I use my food styling inspiration binder to help point me in some direction with inspiration with what I'd like to photograph. But, I am constantly moving things around as I am actually in the process of photographing my dish - trying to keep the simplicity alive. One of these days I will have to share more about my workflow with you.
I'm off to start another weekend! It's supposed to be a cold one here.
Mushroom and Lemon Risotto
adapted from celiac.com
6 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 more for sauteeing shallots
8 ounce package baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
8 ounce package cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced
2 cups arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Juice from 1 lemon
Grated zest of 2 lemons
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, optional
In a large saucepan, warm the chicken broth over low heat.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat up 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat.
Stir in both varieties of mushrooms, and cook for about 3 minutes, Remove from heat and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large, nonstick skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook them for about 1 minutes until translucent, but not brown. Add garlic and cook for a few seconds until aromatic.
Add rice, stir well to coat each grain. Keep stirring rice for about 2 minutes.
Pour in the wine, stirring constantly until the wine is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of broth to the rice and stir to absorb.
Keep adding 1/2 cup broth increments at a time while stirring continuously until all absorbed before next 1/2 cup increment. Should take 15-20 minutes and rice will be al dente.
Remove from heat and stir in butter, mushrooms and their liquid, parsley, chives, lemon juice, lemon zest, and Parmesan cheese. Season with sea salt and pepper.