BY HELEN WESTWATER OF ‘LA OLA FRESCA’
With the somewhat chilly nights…here’s a warming recipe to get the taste buds flowing using two of the latest arrivals from the seasonal kitchen, wild mushrooms and roasted chestnuts. One type of Spanish wild mushroom that you will start to see in the fruit and vegetable shops around this time of year are the wide, flat, saffron coloured ‘Rebollones’, also known as Rovellones or Níscalos. Although their Latin name ‘Lactarius Deliciosus’ seems very apt for they are as delicious as they are expensive. However, they have a pronounced flavour that means you can be sparing with them… and still give a distinct flavour to your meals.
This recipe incorporates them with rice, rosemary and parmesan. All considered to be metal foods according to five elements of Chinese medicine and therefore appropriate to eat during the autumn, dispersing damp and promoting energy circulation and immunity. They are also umami taste foods, which are also said to help stimulate the digestive system and saliva glands. So before you wet your lips, here’s the recipe.
Wild Mushroom and Roasted Chestnut Risotto
1 medium Onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic
400g Risotto rice
1 glass of Vermouth, martini or white wine
1.5 L hot vegetable stock or rich chicken stock
1 tsp soya sauce
6 prepared Chestnuts (peeled and cooked) quartered
250g Rebollones chopped (leave some fairly large pieces so they can be seen)
100g Parmesan finely grated. Reserve some for decoration
Parsley to serve
In a large heavy-bottomed frying pan gently heat the oil. Add the rebollones and lightly cook. Add the crushed garlic and when they have softened and the juices have started to come out of the mushrooms, remove from the pan and reserve to one side.
Next, add the chopped onion with a little more oil if necessary. Add the rice and stir so it is nicely coated with the oil. Turn up the heat a little and add the martini. Stir and let the alcohol burn off. Reduce the heat. Start to add the hot stock bit by bit, stirring as you go along. When you have added about half the stock you can either leave the rice at this stage until you are ready for dinner or proceed straight away.
When you are ready for stage two, continue adding the stock, followed by the pre-cooked mushrooms and the peeled and quartered chestnuts. Add 1 scant teaspoon of rosemary, salt and white pepper to season.
The perfect consistency is moist but not soupy so be very careful with not adding too much stock. The rice is ready when it has just sufficient bite but is not soggy.
Just before serving, snip some flat parsley into the dish and stir in the butter and the grated parmesan. Serve with a few slivers of parmesan on top.