Bought a packet of morels from my recent trip back home to Sydney and finally put it to good use today by making a morel risotto with rosemary.
Having just made a mushroom toast the other day, I must confess that I’ve been slightly addicted to mushrooms.
So what is my latest fascination with morels? Morels are the kings of the mushroom world. They are one of the most desired – and probably the most expensive – wild mushrooms in the world. They are not farmed like most grocery store mushrooms, Cremini, Portobello, Oyster, etc. but gathered in the wild (hence the sky high prices!). So yes, morels are handpicked by someone in the wild so please cherish these babies!
As for their taste profile, they impart an earthy flavour that is nutty and woody. As a color code to go by: the darker the colour, the smokier, nuttier, and earthier the flavor.
Moreover, morels pack a nutritional punch with several minerals. More health benefits of morels can be found here.
I believe the best way to use morels is in risotto as you can use the water you use to soak the morels as part of the stock (i.e. nothing goes to waste!).
To make the most of the morel flavour, I would recommend cooking it with garlic and herbs. Hence there is rosemary the super weapon! The rosemary adds an extra earthiness to the stock, thereby bringing out the best of the morels as delivering more deeper flavours to the risotto.
Morel Risotto with Rosemary
PREP: 10 min | COOK: 45 min | TOTAL: 55 min | YIELDS: 2 servings
- 1 ounce of morels
- 200 gram of arborio rice
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 sprig of rosemary, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)
- 500g of mushroom or vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2-1 cup of grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine
- Extra sprig of rosemary (to garnish)
- Soak morels in hot water to release the flavours for an hour or so. Chop into finer pieces.
- Dice the onion, garlic and rosemary.
- Heat the stock in a pot so that it is boiling. Set aside and reduce heat so that it is just simmering.
- Heat saute pan on medium heat. Melt the butter and add the diced onions, garlic and rosemary. Sweat the onions until they turn translucent. Add in the rice and fry a little before adding the wine. Let the rice soak up the wine and then add a few ladles of the hot stock. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir the rice as you add the stock gradually ladle by ladle. This helps to release the starch from the rice. Note that this process may take up to 45 minutes. You know the risotto is ready when the rice becomes al dente.
- Once risotto is almost ready, stir in the parmesan and another teaspoon of butter. Stir till it is all combined.