Last Sunday we had a traditional Black Sea breakfast in the Anatolian side of Istanbul. Then we decided to drive to Agva, which is a small, cute fishing village full of boutique hotels near the river. Around Agva, there are also small villages and nice, wavy beaches…
When we were in Agva, rain has just stopped and it was time picking some wild mushrooms from the forest. In the evening we had 1,5 kg. of wild mushroom. Here is our grilled mushroom risotto, adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe.
1.5 litres organic chicken or vegetable stock , hot
1 handful wild mushrooms
1 small onion , peeled and finely chopped
400 g risotto rice
75 ml vermouth or white wine
freshly ground black pepper
4 large handfuls wild mushrooms (try shiitake, girolle, chestnut or oyster) , cleaned and sliced
a few sprigs fresh chervil, tarragon or parsley , leaves picked and chopped
1 lemon , juice of
1 teaspoon butter
1 small handful Parmesan cheese , freshly grated, plus extra for serving
extra virgin olive oil
Clean your wild mushrooms carefully.
Heat your stock in a saucepan and keep it on a low simmer.
In a large pan, heat a lug of olive oil and add the onion. Slowly fry without colouring them for at least 10 minutes, then turn the heat up and add the rice. Give it a stir. Stir in the vermouth or wine. Keep stirring until the liquid has cooked into the rice. Add 4 handful of wild mushrooms, a good pinch of salt and your first ladle of hot stock. Turn the heat down to a simmer and keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and massaging the starch out of the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next.
Carry on adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. This will take about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, get a dry griddle pan hot and grill the 1 handful of wild mushrooms until soft. If your pan isn’t big enough, do this in batches. Put them into a bowl and add the chopped herbs, a pinch of salt, olive oil and the lemon juice. Using your hands, get stuck in and toss everything together – this is going to be incredible!
Take the risotto off the heat and check the seasoning carefully. Stir in the butter and the Parmesan. You want it to be creamy and oozy in texture, so add a bit more stock if you think it needs it. Put a lid on and leave the risotto to relax for about 3 minutes.
Take your risotto and add a little more seasoning or Parmesan if you like. Serve a good dollop of risotto topped with some grilled dressed mushrooms, a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.