We woke up this morning to the sound of ice pelting our windows, and the rooftops and grass covered in white. Under normal circumstances I would have wanted to stay in bed all day. Just thinking about snow makes me cold, and my thin Californian blood has not thickened in the 8 or so years that I have lived in Connecticut. However, I found this cold sleet rather inspiring and cozy in our little home this morning. This is the time of year I go nuts for baking, so I bought myself a magazine with endless holiday cookie recipes…so keep your eyes open my friends for care packages…’tis the season. I also wanted something rich, warm, and comforting for dinner. Something you can curl up and eat under a blanket, but still elegant and makes you think of the crisp change in season. Julia Child said, “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients”. That is precisely what this dish is, simple and flavorful; texturally and aromatically fall. Risotto is also one of those dishes that takes patience and forces attention to texture and smell. It is one of my favorite dishes to cook…but maybe it is just a little out there to find stirring rice over a warm flame comforting, with the smell of wafting sage.
Mushroom and sage risotto with Asiago cheese…
10-12 crimini mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 medium shallot, minced
2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tbs fresh sage, minced
1 tsp dried rubbed sage
¼ cup shredded Asiago cheese
2 cups Arborio rice
6-8 cups vegetable broth/bullion
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs unsalted butter
salt and pepper
Prep the mushrooms. Heat broth/bullion in a medium saucepan, set aside and keep on a low simmer. In a separate large saucepan, heat olive oil and butter. Add shallots and garlic, cook over medium heat until translucent. Add mushrooms and fresh sage, cook until tender. Then add rice. Completely coat the rice with butter/oil mixture, and stir regularly until rice is lightly toasted. Then begin to add vegetable broth one ladle full at a time. Stirring regularly in between until fully absorbed by the rice. You may not use all the broth. Keep stirring and adding broth until rice is tender and creamy. Stir in dried sage, Asiago cheese, salt, and pepper to taste.
Eat together, toast to each other, and share!