Chanterelle risotto is the perfect fall weather comfort food.
The richness of a simple risotto is brightened by the fruity flavors of chanterelles, leaving you with a dish suited for a fancy first date.
Or in my case, a much-needed weeknight dinner “date” with my husband, toddlers in tow. The little ones were so excited about their dinner, that we ate in blissful silence…and that’s all this mama could ask for.
Chanterelles are usually a summertime treat, where the delicate and fruity flavors combine well with sweet corn, apricots, and other warm-weather fares. We forage chanterelles on our land in early August, and they’re long gone before the weather turns cold and I’m craving risotto.
This year, I ran across yellow foot chanterelles at the farmers market on the first day of fall, right alongside the apples and cider. These fragrant, late-season mushrooms are perfect for chanterelle risotto.
Risotto is just plain comfort food, and chanterelle risotto is mild enough for a baby to enjoy. My 18-month-old son cleaned his plate and asked for more. Well, more like grunted for more, words are hard when you’re a baby, especially a hungry baby.
While risotto is spectacular baby food, it’s generally thought of as a fancy restaurant dish. The first time I had it was in Italy when a friend I was traveling with convinced me the high price tag would be worth it. The ingredients are simple, but it’s the preparation that takes time and patience.
In this case, fresh chanterelles will set you back about $18 a pound and dramatically increase the cost of an otherwise very inexpensive homemade delicacy. Two large plates can be made with 1/4 pound of mushrooms or about 2 cups of fresh chanterelles.
Yellowfoot chanterelles smell incredible, and you’ll be surprised to find they smell a lot more like fresh fruit than the traditional earthy mushroom smell you’d expect. At the fall farmer’s market, they smelled remarkably similar to fresh cider, but with bright notes, like apricots.
Dried chanterelles also work wonderfully in risotto, especially since the dish has to be carefully simmered for about half an hour on the stove. In that time, the dried mushrooms will rehydrate beautifully and it’ll be hard to tell they’re not fresh.
My chanterelle risotto recipe keeps things simple, which allows you to enjoy the delicate flavor of the chanterelles without any distractions. Sauteed onions and garlic form a flavor base that compliments the brightness of the mushrooms, and a bit of thyme rounds out the dish.
I’ve incorporated about half of the mushrooms directly into the risotto and saved the other half to top the dish. Fresh chanterelles sauteed in butter are a real treat, and they make for a lovely presentation topping the creamy rice. The extra butter, flavored from sauteeing the chanterelles, glistens bright orange on top and adds a lovely richness.
This simple chanterelle risotto can be made with fresh or dried chanterelles. This recipe will make enough for 2 large plates for a date night, or it can easily be doubled to serve 4.
below the level of the rice.
finely grated cheese and stir until it's completely melted.'
This simple chanterelle risotto can be made with fresh or dried chanterelles.
This recipe will make enough for 2 large plates for a date night, or it can easily be doubled to serve 4.
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