We recently enjoyed a fun evening at Jaden Hair’s (of Steamy Kitchen) house where we sampled some delicious mushrooms she prepared for us.  Our oohing and aahing over them rewarded us with a bountiful care package of assorted fresh mushrooms to take home.

Photo by Giuliano Hazan

The next day we were in the mood for risotto, and Jaden’s exotic mushroom medley was the perfect base for it.  I used some king oyster mushrooms, beech mushrooms, and hen of the woods.  What a treat it was to cook these “wild” cultivated mushrooms that are not usually available to us.  Jaden got them from an organic mushroom farm in California called Hotko.

I sliced the king oyster mushrooms but just cut off the root of the others and used them whole.  I sautéed them with olive oil, onions, garlic, and parsley, then cooked the risotto.  It was a hit and thoroughly enjoyed by the entire family along with a Morellino di Scansano (for Lael and me, of course).


Photo by Giuliano Hazan

Risotto with a Mushroom Medley

©2010 by Giuliano Hazan

Serves 4 people

12 ounces assorted mushrooms (hen of the woods, beech, and oyster mushrooms)

½ medium yellow onion

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large clove garlic

5 to 6 sprigs flat leaf Italian parsley


Freshly ground black pepper

1 ¾ cups rice for risotto (Carnaroli, Vialone nano or Arborio)

5 cups homemade meat broth or 1 beef bouillon cube dissolved in 5 cups water

1 tablespoon butter

1.  Cut away the root of the hen of the woods and beech mushrooms.  Slice the oyster mushrooms.

2.  Peel and finely chop the onion.  Put it with the olive oil in a 5 to 6 quart heavy bottomed braising pan and place over medium high heat.  Sauté until the onion turns to a rich golden color, about 5 minutes.

3.  While the onion is sautéing, peel and finely chop the garlic.  Finely chop enough parsley leaves to measure about 2 tablespoons. When the onion is ready, add the garlic and parsley and sauté for 30 seconds.  Add all the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.  Add ½ cup water and cook until all the liquid evaporates and the mushrooms are tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

4.  While the mushrooms are cooking, put the broth in a pot over high heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer.

5.  When the mushrooms are ready, add the rice and stir until it is well coated.  Add about 1 cup of the hot broth and continue stirring.  Add only enough broth to produce the consistency of a rather thick soup and wait until all the liquid is absorbed before adding more.  Continue until the rice is al dente, 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove the risotto from the heat, add the butter, stir well and serve at once.