Hopefully you already have a cache of wild mushrooms tucked away in the freezer. If so, you'll want to make the ultimate forager's dish -- Risotto Sotto Bosco — the next time you dive into your stash.
dandelion leaves at the grocery store. (In Jackson, you'll find them at Smith's Grocery and Jackson Whole Grocer.)
Risotto Sotto Bosco
Use any combination of wild mushrooms that you have.
- 4 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. grapeseed or olive oil
- 1 small shallot, peeled and minced
- 4 sage leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
- 1 sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from the stem and chopped
- ½ cup chanterelle mushrooms, fresh or frozen, or ¼ cup dried
- ½ cup porcini mushrooms, fresh or frozen, or ¼ cup dried
- ½ cup morel mushrooms, fresh or frozen, or ¼ cup dried
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- Kosher salt, for seasoing
- 3-4 cups boiling water (more if reconstituting dried mushrooms)
- ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
- Small handful of red currants or huckleberries, fresh or frozen
- If using frozen mushrooms, thaw them out and separate the broth from the mushrooms, if any. Pat the mushrooms dry and set aside. Reserve the broth. If using dried mushrooms, place them in a bowl and pour 1 cup of boiling water over. Steep for 15 minutes, separate the mushrooms from the water and squeeze dry. Reserve the soaking liquid.
- Place 4 cups of water in another pot and bring to a boil. If you have mushroom broth or soaking liquid, include this in the 4 cups. Reduce heat to a low simmer while you make the rest of the risotto.
- Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of grapeseeed or olive oil. When the oil is hot, place the mushrooms in the pan, being careful not to over crowd. Sear until brown on each side; set aside.
- In a medium, heavy pot, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and the herbs; sauté until the shallot is just starting to turn brown.
- Add the rice and stir for 2 minutes, making sure all the grains are coated with butter. Add the white wine and stir until the liquid has evaporated.
- Reduce the heat to a low simmer and add 1 cup of boiling water/broth to the rice. Stir to combine. Once the water is mostly absorbed, add another cup. Keep stirring and adding more liquid until all the liquid is gone, or the rice is cooked "al dente" — soft with no crunchy middle, but chewy and not too soft.
- When the rice is done, add the reserved mushrooms and gently fold into the risotto. Add the other 2 Tbsp. butter, the grated Parmesan, and fold until melted.
- Taste for salt. Add more Parmesan or butter if needed.
- Top with a handful of red currants or huckleberries just before serving.
- Serve hot with an additional dusting of grated Parmesan.
Dandelion Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
• 1 large leek (or 2 small ones)
• 6 ounces bacon, cut into lardons (small rectangular pieces)
• 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
• 2 tablespoons maple syrup
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• Freshly ground pepper, to taste
• Shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano, to finish
2. Chop the leeks into 2 inch pieces.
3. Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp. Place on paper towels to drain. Pour off most of the grease, leaving 2 Tbsp. in the pan.
4. Add the leeks to the pan and heat over low in the bacon drippings until starting to brown on the edges.
5. Turn off the heat and slowly add the vinegar; be careful — it will sputter and splatter. Stir to deglaze the pan, scraping the bits of bacon into the pan.
6. Pour the leeks and all of the liquid into a small bowl, grind some pepper in and add the olive oil and maple syrup. Whisk the dressing and taste. Also test for acidity; you may want another splash of vinegar. Crumble the bacon onto the greens and top with Parmigiano curls. Toss the warm dressing with the dandelion greens and bacon.