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Monday, January 24, 2011

RISOTTO and my initiation into the world of White Truffle Oil

So, Sunday afternoon at around 12:00pm, I decided to step out into the world of Risotto. This was a scary time to attempt this since I knew I had to be finished by exactly 2:00pm in order to watch the Bears game (may they rest in peace until next season...tear).

I had seen this recipe in the "Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook" book by Kim Barnouin, and although I neither consider myself all that skinny nor all that bitchy, I decided to try this recipe because it looked OH so good. It also seemed doable for my first time with risotto.

So once again, here's what I did wrong:
-I didn't understand what I was supposed to be doing with those dried mushrooms, so I just boiled a bunch of water and grabbed a handful and put them in the water. Then I picked them out of the water and took a 1/2 cup of the water and put it into the stock.
-I don't have any grapeseed oil, so I used olive oil. I'm not made of money.
-I grabbed the "chef's selection" of mushrooms at Whole Foods and that didn't include ANY of the mushrooms on the list in the recipe, and they didn't taste all that good when I tried them raw.
-I like the tips of asparaghus, so I chopped up an entire bunch of the asparaghus starting at the tips and now have a lot of leftover asparaghus stems...
-I don't have any idea where to get vegan Parmesan. I couldn't find it in Whole Foods, and I frankly don't intend to look much further than there.
-I cooked this about 6 hours before I planned on eating it, so I had to refrigerate and then re-heat and I was too hungry to chop up the chives at 8:45PM.

Verdict: DELICIOUS! So good even with the mistakes. And, although I didn't buy grapeseed oil, I did splurge and purchase the white truffle oil because I adore mushroom everything, and omg, that was one of the best purchases I've ever made. It totally MADE the dish.

Here's a pic:

This recipe is not a quick one, and it's labor intensive not in terms of complicated tasks, but you have to constantly stir those little Arborio jerks, otherwise they get moody and burn.

My only critique of this delicious recipe is that it says it serves 6, but honestly, me and the S.O. (his name is Matt and he's upset he doesn't have a named presence on the blog...) polished off about 3/4 of this in one meal. I guess that answers the question as to HOW she is skinny and a bitch.

Here's the recipe (and here's the link to her book :


6 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup dried wild mushrooms
1/2 cup hot water
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1/4 cup Earth Balance
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mushrooms (such as porcini, chanterelles, crimini, portobello)
1 1/2 cups asparagus cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup shallots, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice, uncooked
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 vegan Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon white truffle oil (optional)
1 teaspoon chopped chives, for garnish


In a large saucepan add the vegetable broth, cover and keep warm over low heat. Place hot water in a medium size bowl and add the two ounces of dried mushrooms. Allow to sit for about 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft. Then add the mushrooms and the hot water to the vegetable broth.

In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil and 1 tablespoon of Earth Balance. Add the fresh mushrooms and asparagus, and saute until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, remove from heat and transfer to a medium size bowl. Using the same large saucepan, heat the remaining grapeseed oil over medium heat and add the onions and shallots, stirring until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and remaining Earth Balance and saute for 1 minute. Add the rice and stir until well combined. Add the wine and stir until the wine is absorbed. Add 1 cup of the warm broth and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each additional broth be absorbed before adding more. Continue adding the broth until the rice is tender and creamy, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Stir in the sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, and parmesan cheese to the rice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of chives, and the white truffle oil (if using).


  1. WOW. That looks AMAZING. Truffle oil is deliciously rich.

  2. That looks delicious. Love the addition of asparagus tips on top.

  3. Truffle oil is great - love that you only need a tiny bit for a lot of flavor.

  4. NOM. sounds delicious! also, love your writing style. keep it up girlfriend. that's right, i said girlfriend.

  5. I have never used truffle oil! I really need to get around to it.


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