I love to use dried porcini mushrooms with fresh mushrooms when making this barley ‘risotto’. Or any mushroom risotto in fact. The flavour adds such depth, and the water that re-hydrates the mushrooms makes a lovely intense stock.
I have used a selection of mixed exotic mushrooms to make up the fresh component of the dish. I love the meaty texture of shiitake, and adore the look of enoki. Use any mushrooms that you like, although I find white button mushrooms the least suitable for risotto. They are the dullest of all the mushroom varieties. They work brilliantly when pickled, but opt for brown, oyster or if you are lucky enough to have access to a few wild varieties, all the better.
I have used barley here because I love the nutty taste, but you can make a traditional risotto rice, just reduce the cooking time.
Dont be afraid to add butter, Mascarpone or cream at the end. It makes this more indulgent and creamy. I also add a lot of freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino.
Recipe | serves 2
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