Wild Mushroom Barley Risotto is a buttery, cheesy, herbaceous, and aromatic autumn dish; perfect comfort food for a gloomy rainy day.
Hello, everyone. Happy Monday and the last week of September. Holy moly, last week of September, can you believe that? Is it time to get a Christmas tree yet? Lol
As some of you probably remember, we got a house this spring, with a nice large backyard and even a small forest/swamp area. We (And by we I mean Andrew. I am not into gardening – I am just giving recommendations on what I would like to have) didn’t get great crops except for zucchinis and some herbs this season. But we were pleasantly surprised to have found edible mushrooms in our forest area – beautiful brown cup boletus (aka brown birch boletus), specifically. I mean, we didn’t get much of basil, but we collected a bunch of delicious mushrooms just behind the house!
That’s not all. Just a few days ago, I noticed red berries. It turned out we have a wild cranberry bush too, and the berries are already nice and ripe. This won’t be enough for a recipe, but I might incorporate them into my photos or just add to tea.
Back to wild mushrooms, though. It’s been a nice mushroom season and our area – lots of porcini and boletus mushrooms just around walking trails. We’ve collected and dried a lot of them, and some of them I immediately utilized in recipes, like this Porcini Polenta.
Have you ever gone mushroom foraging, by the way? It’s super easy, but of course, you should know well what you’re collecting. We only pick porcinis and boletus (birch boletus) which are basically impossible to confuse with less edible or poisonous mushrooms. However, as a rule of a thumb, if you are not sure 100% in a mushroom – don’t pick it up. The safe choice would always be buying some cultivated wild mushrooms at your local farmers’ market. It would be quite an expensive option too, unfortunately.
Wild Mushroom Barley Risotto
Let’s briefly talk about this Wild Mushroom Barley Risotto:
- It’s super delicious, creamy, starchy, and buttery. Just like a traditional risotto but with barley. As you will see, the same cooking method is applied. However, it takes a longer cooking time (It should take ~22 minutes for regular risotto, while barley need between 25-35 minutes.);
- Normally, you don’t need to pre-cook wild mushrooms – just clean them from the dirt and dust. As always with mushrooms, avoid washing them – they will absorb the water. If you bought cultivated wild mushrooms, they should be perfectly clean. However, if you foraged them, you might want to quickly soak them – just to be sure all the dirt and insects are removed;
- I always cook down mushrooms on a dry skillet to reduce the water content first and then add the oil. I would highly recommend this method!;
- If you don’t have wild mushrooms, dried ones would do. Just soak them up in some warm water and then finely slice (they are going to be chewier, so you wanna keep these pieces small);
- Lastly, of course, you can use any other mushrooms which are available at your supermarket. You might need to adjust the cooking time.
I hope you like and give this recipe for Mushroom Barley Risotto a try. With or without wild mushrooms, it will be delicious!
Cheers for now.