It is no secret that I have an obsession with risotto. Any time I can get my fork near a plate or bowl of it, I’m in heaven. Of course, the process of making risotto is somewhat long and drawn out. It takes some effort and dedication to faithfully stand next to the pan and stir it for at least an hour. WORTH IT, but the process is time consuming nevertheless.
I’ve heard about making baked risotto dishes in the past, but I had to admit I felt skeptical that a baked version could be just as good. However, I am always willing to give a new dish or technique a shot, so I looked for a recipe to draw inspiration. I happened to have a carton of mushrooms that needed to be used up, so when I found this Baked Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions over on The Kitchn, I thought I’d use it as inspiration, adjust it a bit to my needs, and go from there.
What resulted was a pretty dang good pot of risotto. I used my Dutch oven to bake my risotto, and it was definitely a great use for it. The risotto came out creamy and luscious. I have to admit: it wasn’t as amazing as my hand stirred versions, but for a weeknight creation, it was top notch. I am not trying to think up some more combinations to create, as this was definitely a winner in my book!
Have you made a baked risotto before?
Baked Mushroom Risotto
Adapted from The Kitchn, which was adapted from Not Your Mother’s Casseroles, Harvard Common Press
1 pint mushrooms, finely chopped (I used baby portabella)
3 brown onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly rinse the mushrooms and pat dry before chopping finely.
2. Meanwhile, dice one of the brown onions. Add to a large Dutch oven over medium heat, along with the minced garlic. Cook the garlic and onions for about 5 minutes, until they turn soft and golden brown in color.
3. Turn the heat on the burner to medium high, then add the diced mushrooms and allow them to cook for about 5 minutes without stirring. Flip the mushrooms at that time and cook for an additional 5 minutes. You may start to see residue/a crust begin to form on the bottom of the pan at this time. Don’t worry – you’ll deglaze it later!
4. Add the rosemary sprigs and the rice to the Dutch oven, stirring once or twice over the course of about 5 minutes. The rice should turn transparent, which is when you will turn the heat to high, add the wine, balsamic, broth, and water. Gently scrape along the bottom of the pan after the liquid is added – the crust that has formed should release. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Bring the pot to a boil, then cover with a tight fitting lid and place into the preheated oven for 35 minutes to bake.
6. As the rice bakes, heat a skillet over low heat. Add the olive oil and the two remaining brown onions (sliced into half moon shapes/long strips). Add a pinch of salt, and stir the onions occasionally as they cook. The onions should eventually turn a dark brown hue. For me, it took about 40 minutes, which was great timing along with the risotto!
7. When the risotto is completed, remove it from the oven and leave the Dutch oven uncovered for 5 minutes before serving. Add a small scoop of caramelized onions on top of the risotto when it is dished up. You can also top with some parmesan cheese, and an additional sprinkle of salt and pepper (I used some truffle salt – YUM!). Enjoy!