Risotto del Bosco (AKA Woodland Risotto)

This might sound a little strange, so you’re just going to have to trust me – risotto del bosco, or woodland risotto, is a traditional Italian risotto made with porcini mushrooms and dried blueberries. The hint of tart, tangy fruit is just the thing to lift the rich, earthy flavours of the mushroom, and makes for a gorgeous combination. Painted Wolf ‘Guillermo’ Swartland Pinotage is full and juicy, with blueberry flavours, so this unusual dish is the ideal partner for it.

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 fat garlic cloves
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • A glass of white wine
  • 150g risotto rice
  • 30g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • A small handful of dried blueberries
  • Fresh thyme
  • Salt
  • Parmesan, to serve

Method

  1. First, place the dried porcini mushrooms in a large jug or bowl and cover with a litre of boiling water. Leave to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. After 20 minutes, transfer the mushrooms to a different bowl with a slotted spoon, and to the reserved soaking liquid, add the stock cube and dried blueberries. Save a couple of the mushrooms whole for a garnish, and roughly chop the rest.
  3. Finely dice the onion and crush the garlic, and fry them gently in melted butter and a splash of olive oil until the onion is really soft – keep the heat low so it doesn’t get brown or crispy.
  4. Add the risotto rice to the onion and stir through, then turn the heat up a little bit and pour in the white wine. Stir as it bubbles until most of the liquid has been absorbed, and then add the chopped porcini mushrooms, the soaked blueberries, and about a tablespoonful of fresh thyme leaves.
  5. Give the reserved porcini soaking liquid a really good stir – the stock cube should have melted away by now. Start adding the liquid to the pan with the rice, a few ladlefuls at a time, stirring each time and waiting for all the liquid to be absorbed before adding any more. Continue until the rice is cooked – it should take around 20 minutes, and you might not need all the liquid. Once the rice is cooked, season with a pinch of salt.
  6. In a frying pan on a high heat, briefly fry the reserved porcini mushrooms until browned, then dish up your risotto and top with the fried mushrooms, a sprinkling of fresh thyme and a little grated Parmesan.
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