It is that time of the year again... The forests are full of berries and mushrooms, and we are busy trying to pick and preserve all of the delicacies that the nature has to offer. It is a lot of work, but incredibly rewarding. We would like to share one of our yummiest recipes with you: the fragrant and wonderful porcini risotto.

This risotto can be made with any other edible mushroom too, but porcini (or penny bun or cep) is definitely one of our favourites. It serves about 3 as main course.

Here's what you need:

Fresh porcini mushrooms. About 300-400g.

Olive oil

butter

1 medium glove of garlic, chopped fine

1 biggish shallot onion, chopped small

1 stick of celery, chopped small

fresh rosemary, thyme & sage or other garden herbs that you like

3dl of risotto rice

1,5 dl dry apple cider (dry white wine is also good)

about 1 litre of chicken/vegetable stock (keep it hot on the stove)

A good handful of freshly rasped parmesan

***

Chop the mushrooms to bits of about 1cm * 1cm. Heat a frying pan to highish and add the mushrooms. They will sweat out water and reduce in size. Once the mushrooms are almost dry, add a spoonful of butter, some fresh herbs (thyme, sage or similar), salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside for later.

***

Make the risotto base. In a thick bottomed cooking pot, heat a spoonful of oil and a spoonful of butter on medium fire. Sauté the onion, garlic and celery until softened (a couple of minutes), then turn the heat to high and add the rice and a twig of rosemary. Stir constantly so that the rice doesnt’t burn, for about 1 min, until the rice starts becoming a bit translucent. Pour in the cider, and once it has evaporated add the first laddle of hot stock. Turn the heat back to medium and keep stirring the risotto, adding laddles of stock when the previous laddle has almost evaporated. Keep the risotto simmering but not too high, it gets more delicious when you cook it slowly. And keep stirring constantly, it is the stirring that makes the risotto creamy!

Take the rice off the heat once it is no longer hard from the inside but still slightly al dente (you just have to keep tasting it). Stir in the mushrooms, the parmesan and a bit more butter if you wish. Season with pepper and salt.

Serve immediately to your drooling dinner guests :-D