This is one of those labours-of-love that are worth it if you enjoy spending time in the kitchen (and can be trusted with the ‘cooking’ wine), and which should be attempted at least once in your lifetime.  Also, after trying your hand at risotto, the next time you order it from a menu you will likely find a sudden compassion for the chef and what he may have gone through for you. 😉

Here is your weekend dinner inspiration; recipe by Jamie Oliver tweaked slightly to suit availability of ingredients. We enjoyed it with a glass or two of Waterford Pecan Stream Sauvignon Blanc.  Simple and sublime!


grilled mushroom risotto


  • 5 litres organic chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1 punnet brown mushrooms, chopped into large chunks
  • 2 cups risotto rice
  • 1/3 cup white wine (can you spare a splash?)
  • 2 punnets mixed wild mushrooms
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, destalked and chopped
  • Juice of ½ small lemon
  • 1 tsp butter
  • A few handfuls of freshly grated Pecorino cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh baby salad leaves and lemon zest for garnish


  1. In a small saucepan, heat the stock gently, and then keep it warm by leaving it on the lowest heat setting.
  2. In a large deep pan heat a generous glug of olive oil on a medium heat, and gently fry the onion, celery and brown mushrooms until the onion has started to soften. Stir the risotto into the mushrooms for a few minutes; get it nicely coated with the olive oil and give it a chance to start turning opaque.
  3. Turn the heat up to medium-high, pour in the wine and keep stirring until the liquid has been soaked up by the rice.
  4. Turn the heat down to a simmer and add a pinch of salt. Adding one ladleful of warm stock at a time, keep stirring until each ladleful has been soaked up before adding the next. Keep going* until the rice is soft but still firm; about 30 minutes.
  5. *When you think you’re roughly 2 ladlefuls away from finished, get out a dry pan and gently simmer the wild mushrooms with rosemary, lemon juice and a pinch of salt (no oil) for 5-10 minutes on a medium heat.
  6. When your risotto is done, remove it from the heat and stir the butter and half the pecorino in. It should be ‘creamy and oozy in texture’ {nice description from Jamie} – if not, stir a little more stock in and let it sit for about 3 minutes while you heat up bowls and ready your dinner guests.
  7. Serve risotto with a drizzle of olive oil, pecorino, a little lemon zest, wild mushrooms, and bright green baby leaves.

Original recipe: