Recipe: Baked Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions
Risotto is a dish that I make often for personal chef clients, and although the stirring really isn’t as laborious as some think, I have to admit it is pretty nice to just stick the whole thing in the oven and not worry about it until it’s finished. The rice turned out perfectly tender and the flavors in this dish are deep and savory. The kitchen is smelling amazing right now!
Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions
Serves 4 to 6
- 1/2 ounce dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
- 2 large yellow onions
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 cup Arborio or short-grain white rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 300°F. Place the dried mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Set aside to steep for at least 20 minutes. Once softened, drain and reserve liquid and finely chop.
Chop 1 of the onions into a fine dice. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 3-quart (or larger) ovenproof pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Push the onions to the side of the pot, and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the cremini mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes without stirring. Flip the mushrooms and cook until they are quite brown and a crust is developing on the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes more.
Add the dried mushrooms and rosemary sprig to the pan and sauté briefly. Add the rice and cook, stirring once or twice, until it begins to turn transparent, about 4 minutes.
Turn the heat to high and add the white wine, vinegar, broth, and reserved mushroom steeping liquid. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan as you add the liquid to deglaze any yummy mushroomy bits sticking to the pan. Stir in the salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and put it in the oven to bake for 40-60 minutes, or until liquid is mostly absorbed and rice is tender.
While the rice is baking, make the caramelized onions. Thinly slice the remaining onion. Heat the remaining olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and sprinkle generously with salt. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions turn a dark mahogany brown. Let them go as long as you can; at least 30-45 minutes.
When the risotto has finished baking, remove the rosemary sprig, stir, and let it stand uncovered for 5 minutes before serving. Dish it up and top each bowl with a spoonful of caramelized onions and a little extra pepper.