Saturday, 16 January 2010

Oven-baked Mushroom and Thyme Risotto

No pesky stirring for hours over a hot stove! After a little bit of preparation, stick it in the oven till the rice is cooked. Easy!

Makes: 4 servings
Takes: 10 minutes + 25 minutes cooking time


25g pack dried porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
350g risotto rice
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
750ml vegetable stock
100ml white wine
salt and pepper
handful of freshly grated parmesan (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 190oC/fan 170oC/Gas Mark 5.
  2. Put the mushrooms in a bowl and pour over 425ml boiling water. Set aside to soak for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan. Finely chop the onion and cook gently for 2 minutes until it starts to soften then add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid, and chop them. Put them into the pan with the rice and thyme leaves and stir well.
  5. Strain the mushroom-soaking liquid into the pan and add the stock and wine. Stir thoroughly and bring to the boil. Season to taste.
  6. Pour into a large overnproof dish and put into the oven. Bake for 25 minutes, till the rice is just cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed.
  7. Stir in the grated parmesan if using. Serve with extra parmesan shavings and thyme leaves sprinkled over, if desired.
Great as a dinner party dish, either as a vegetarian main with a side salad and crusty bread, or as a side dish with chicken or beef. Or mix in some cooked smoked bacon. Yum!
Leave out the wine if you prefer and use extra stock instead. And if it doesn't matter about being a vegetarian dish, chicken stock also works well.