Isn’t it interesting how certain factors determine what foods you like and dislike? Smell, taste, and appearance are three that come to mind, but the one that seems to really get me is texture. I wouldn’t eat yogurt for the longest time because it’s texture was too…yogurty. Once I discovered the magic of deliciously-crunchy granola, I got over that one quick. But, I still have a hard time with pudding, cottage cheese, applesauce and even the cream inside eclairs. A crime? Some people think so.
But, while some food textures can completely turn you away, others can be absolutely, addictively wonderful.
For example, take this Creamy Risotto with Mushrooms. The texture of the creamy arborio rice is possibly the best thing in the world…chewy, warm, comforting. And then those soft, garlic mushrooms come in and ooooooh-kay, I just ate the whole dang skillet.
One word on this recipe. We included a dry white wine to give some added flavor. If someone doesn’t have white wine on hand, they will often just skip over this part. Which yes, is just fine. But NO please don’t do that with this recipe because you will truly be missing out on some bomb(dot)com flavor. Just trust me on this one. We also advise against using cooking wine, because of its high salt content and other additives. Just get a cheap chardonnay and call it good. Because it is oh-so-good once simmered and steamed and cooked right into this creamy risotto with mushrooms!
Now that is a tasty texture.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
- 2 cups uncooked arborio rice
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2-3 Tbsp. dry white wine (we used Chardonnay)*
- 2 heaping cups baby Portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 2-3 cups spinach
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese (depending on how cheezzzy you like it)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. lime or lemon juice
- In a saucepan or large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil on low heat. Add 2 of the minced garlic cloves and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. (Don’t heat the oil too hot or the garlic will burn and become bitter.)
- Add the uncooked rice and stir to coat in the olive oil.
- Turn the heat to medium and add 1 cup of chicken broth. Allow the rice to cook in the liquid until it’s almost completely absorbed, stirring occasionally.
- Add the wine and stir to incorporate.
- Keep adding the chicken broth, ½ cup at a time, until the rice is soft and chewy. (This will take 15-20 minutes).
- While the rice is cooking, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp. of olive oil on a skillet and add the remaining 2 cloves of garlic. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the mushrooms. Cook until soft, about 5-8 minutes, then add the spinach and cook until wilted.
- Stir the Parmesan cheese and lime/lemon into the rice and top with mushrooms and spinach mixture.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
*We would highly recommend not using cooking wine because of its high salt content. It doesn't need to be an expensive wine, just a basic chardonnay will do wonders for the flavor!