Creamy, nutty and comforting chanterelle risotto is a fall favorite. This recipe always surprises and excites my guests yet it is so easy to make. Probably the tastiest way to cook chanterelles, cook this up and enjoy the compliments. Let's get cooking!
I use chanterelle mushrooms as often as I can get them. Besides this chanterelle risotto, you can find them in my melty Chanterelle Croustade sandwich, my Wild Mushroom Soup recipe and my hearty Mushroom Lentil Stew.
Mushrooms are my favourite thing about fall and a consolation prize for all the rainy days here in coastal BC. After a very dry summer, the rain has come with a vengeance and the mushrooms have started popping up like crazy. Little jewels in the mossy forest 🙂
Learning To Forage For Chanterelle Mushrooms
I first learned to pick mushrooms from my dad and although we picked quite a few varieties over the years the type I pick the most now are chanterelle mushrooms. They are easy to find, identify, don't have very close look-alikes that are poisonous and they are very delicious. Others I have picked on Vancouver Island are oysters, shaggy manes, lobster (my very favourite for eating) and morels though I have a harder time finding them. I have picked boletes and cauliflower mushrooms. The Homesteading Huntress has a great post about harvesting wild mushrooms with many more links to identifying and finding them if you're interested.
*Please note that wild mushrooms should always be cooked before eating and never eat any mushrooms you have not been able to identify 100%.
BC is a great place for mushroom picking and if you have the time you can pick a lot and sell them to the mushroom buyers that set up shop during mushroom season. I had an aunt and uncle who would fund their yearly trip to Mexico by mushroom picking!
- Chanterelle Mushrooms - These gorgeous and flavorful wild mushrooms are only available in season. Generally chanterelles are found starting in late August until frost around mid November. Weather plays a large part in how long the season lasts. Chanterelles need moisture and do not grow once the ground gets heavy frost. You can usually find them at the grocery store and farmers markets.
- Arborio Rice - The classic and essential rice for making risotto. Arborio rice is a short grain rice that easily becomes creamy as you stir it while cooking. In fact in can get so creamy, many risotto dishes do not call for any actual dairy cream.
- Dry White Wine - The perfect compliment to risotto, a light, dry wine adds acidity and body. The alcohol will burn off during cooking though if you choose to omit it, used a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to achieve the acidity for balanced flavor.
Step By Step Instructions
- In a large (12" diameter or larger) sauté pan, heat oil on medium and cook shallots and garlic until translucent, then add mushrooms.
- Sauté mushrooms until liquid is reduced and absorbed, remove about a cup and reserve to garnish your risotto at the end. Next add salt, pepper and white wine and reduce wine by half.
- Reduce heat to medium low and add rice, stirring until liquid is absorbed.
- Add herbs and start adding the hot vegetable stock about a ½ c at a time, stirring frequently until liquid is absorbed, then adding more, repeating until rice is al dente. (Approximately 20-25 min)
- Turn heat to lowest setting and add the Parmesan, cream and parsley. Stir until incorporated and melted, season to taste with salt and pepper and turn heat off.
(Risotto should be a fairly loose consistency, if it gets too thick while waiting to serve, simply add in a little more hot veggie stock to correct.)
- To serve, spoon into bowls, top with reserved mushrooms and garnish with more thyme or parsley if desired. Mushroom risotto can be served as a vegetarian main course or a perfect side dish for roast chicken or vegetables.
How To Cook Chanterelles
There are many ways to cook wild mushrooms and really you can use them in almost any mushroom recipe that appeals to you. For chanterelle mushrooms I recommend a recipe that really highlights their flavor without overpowering them and also showcases their beautiful texture. They are more tender than store bought white mushrooms and have a sweet, earthy flavor that really tastes like fall to me.
Simple Ways To Enjoy Wild Mushrooms
For the first mushrooms of the year, I always saute them gently in butter with a little salt and sometimes garlic. Served with a side of crusty bread and a glass of white wine, it heralds the arrival of fall and puts me in the mood to start appreciating the rain.
A few other ways I use them are in soup (a no-brainer), on top of salad, in a white lasagna, on crostini, in stuffing for turkey, and in pasta. (Follow West Coast Kitchen Garden on Instagram to see what else I'm cooking up with these mushrooms!) If you find yourself with cauliflower mushrooms, try my Cauliflower Mushroom Gratin.
How To Preserve Chanterelles
To store for the winter there are multiple ways to preserve. Some mushrooms are good for drying but chanterelles seem to lose a lot of flavor this way and don't keep quite as nice a texture.
My favorite, tried and true way to preserve chanterelles is to clean, coarsely chop and saute them, pack them into freezer bags or containers and top with some stock or butter to cover then freeze. I've had a lot of success with this method. Once thawed, use them in any mushroom dish, they even fry up nicely to serve alongside a steak.
A Classic Risotto
Today's recipe is a fairly classic risotto. I have kept the flavor profile simple so you can really taste the unique flavor of the wild mushrooms and then garnished the top with some browned and slightly crispy ones for a concentrated flavor on top.
I hope you get a chance to get out mushroom picking this year or procure some at your local farmers market or grocery store because they really are a seasonal treat.
Have a wonderfully delicious day,
- ½ medium Shallot, Finely Chopped
- 1 clove Garlic, Minced
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 4 c Chanterelle Mushrooms, Cut Into ½" Pieces Or other wild mushrooms
- ½ teaspoon Each, Salt And Pepper
- ½ c Dry White Wine (Unoaked) I used 40 Knots Unoaked Chardonnay
- 1 Large Sprig Thyme
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 c Arborio Rice A short grain variety of rice is imperative
- 3 c Vegetable Stock, Kept Hot In Pot On Stove Or Microwaveable Measuring Cup Could also use chicken or mushroom stock
- ½ c Parmesan, Packed Grated About ¼ c before grating
- ¼ c Heavy Cream
- ½ c Parsley, Finely Chopped
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- In a fairly large (12" diameter +/-) saute pan, heat oil on medium and add shallots and garlic. Cook until translucent and then add mushrooms.
- Saute mushrooms until liquid is reduced and absorbed, then add salt, pepper and white wine and reduce wine by half. Remove approximately 1 cup to reserve for topping your finished risotto.
- Reduce heat to medium low. Add in rice and stir until liquid is absorbed.
- Next add the thyme and bay leaf and start adding the hot vegetable stock. Add about ½ c, stirring frequently until liquid is absorbed, then add another ½ c of hot stock, stir and repeat until rice is al dente. (Approximately 20-25 min) You may not need the full 3 cups of stock so test the rice after 20 min or when you've used 2.5 c of the stock and adjust accordingly. If you find you need more liquid, finish with some hot water as required.
- Turn heat to lowest setting and add the Parmesan, cream and parsley and stir until incorporated and melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper and turn heat off.(Risotto should be a fairly loose consistency, if it gets too thick while waiting to serve, simply add in a little more hot veggie stock to correct.)
- To serve, spoon into bowls, top with reserved mushrooms and garnish with more thyme or parsley if desired. Mushroom risotto can be served as a vegetarian main course or a perfect side dish for roast chicken.