Sunday, November 4, 2012

Brown Rice Risotto with Shiitakes and Mustard Greens

White Arborio is the classic rice for risotto, but you can actually make it with virtually any short grain rice (longer grain rices don't have enough starch to make it creamy), including short grain brown rice.  The trick is to parboil it first (thanks to Mark Bittman for this tip), then you cook it much as you would a standard risotto.  In this recipe, the slightly chewier brown rice is a nice match to the silky shiitakes--I made sure to grab some at the last farmers market of the regular season--and greens with a little bite--in this case, mizuna from my garden.  (If you don't care for mustard greens, you can substitute something milder, such as spinach or Swiss chard.)

1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice
Olive oil
3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
4 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 cups well chopped mizuna or other mustard greens
2/3 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

Parboil the rice for 20 minutes in plenty of water, then drain.

Heat a little olive oil in the pressure cooker, then add the parboiled rice.  Saute for 1-2 minutes, then add the stock.  Cover and bring to pressure, then reduce heat to medium so that it just maintains pressure but won't burn the rice.  Cook for 9 minutes, then release pressure.  If there is still liquid with the rice, simmer it over low heat, stirring periodically, until it reaches the desired consistency.  (If you don't have a pressure cooker, you can also cook the risotto the old fashioned way, adding liquid a little at a time and stirring until absorbed.)

While you cook the rice, heat a bit more olive oil in a skillet.  Add the shallots and saute for 2 minutes, then add the shiitakes.  Continue to saute until the shiitakes are tender.  Add the mustard greens and cook, stirring frequently, until nicely wilted.  Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

When everything is done, stir the shiitake-mizuna mixture into the rice.  Add the Parmesan and mix well.  Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Serves 4-6 as a side dish.

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