Buckwheat risotto with porcini mushrooms

It’s a rainy day here in the City of Light and it feels more like autumn than spring… and I’m craving comfort food! I’ve had this recipe ready since last fall but I only got to writing it now, time just flies by too quickly! Buckwheat is a great substitute to rice, it’s gluten-free and makes an absolutely delicious risotto. I love it in all it’s forms – buckwheat flour is great for breads, cake loaves, muffins and pancakes. Galettes, the famous crepes from Brittany that are always garnished with delicious savory fillings, are made of 100% buckwheat flour. Buckwheat groats are wonderful for crunchy granola, porridge or any kind of veggie risotto. Porcini mushrooms are a fall favorite and this risotto is a perfect fall comfort food. But as we’ve already entered spring, I’ll share a spring version of it with fresh green spring veggies soon :-).

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For the buckwheat risotto (serves 4 people)
250 g buckwheat
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 small knob of organic butter
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4-5 tablespoons white wine
200 g porcini mushrooms
50 g grated parmigiano
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
fresh parsley and freshly grated parmigiano to garnish

Toast the buckwheat in a non-stick pan on medium heat for about 10 minutes before cooking it, this will really bring out it’s nutty flavor. Cook the buckwheat in boiling salted water for about 15-20 minutes, until tender. Strain and set aside.

While cooking the buckwheat, clean the porcini mushrooms, chop the big ones, if needed and rinse quickly under cold water. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil and a small knob of organic butter in a pan and add the finely chopped shallots and minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently. Add the mushrooms, two tablespoons of white wine and the finely chopped parsley, cover and cook for another 5 minutes. Place the mushroom mixture in a dish and set aside.

Use the same risotto pan and add another tablespoon of olive oil, the strained buckwheat, the grated parmigiano and two tablespoons of white whine. Stir well and cook covered for just a few minutes, so that the cheese melts and the buckwheat absorbs the juices. Uncover and add the porcini mushrooms mixture, stir carefully not to break the mushrooms. Save a few of them to top the risotto when serving. Sprinkle with a bit more freshly grated parmigiano and parsley, if desired.

This buckwheat risotto is excellent as a warm starter in a smaller portion or as a main dish. In any case, it’s a healthier version of the classical risotto but just as delicious!

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