“Risotto of the Woods” with Blueberries and Mushrooms

Stacie Billis of One Hungry Mama makes a meal inspired by the bounty of the season – summer fruits and vegetables pair sweet and earthy flavors for a delightfully unexpected dish.

Seasonal. If you love food, it’s a word you can’t escape, especially in summer when a rich bounty of fruits and vegetables is readily available across the country.

When I think seasonal mushrooms in summer, I think grilling. After all, grilled mushrooms are quintessential BBQ food! But it occurred to me recently that there is another approach to cooking mushrooms in the summer: Pair them with other in-season ingredients.

This realization came to me while at my local farmers’ market. I’d already picked up a mix of mushrooms and was looking to figure out what to pair them with. Zucchini? Corn? It all felt predictable. Then my eyes landed on blueberries.

“Mushrooms and blueberries—yes!—an unexpected pair of two great summer ingredients.” 

I’ve actually eaten mushrooms and blueberries together before, but had forgotten. It was an amazing risotto del bosco, which translates “risotto of the woods,” an apt description for a dish that brings together two delicious ingredients often foraged in the wild. How had I forgotten about this dish?! As soon as I saw the blueberries, I knew that my baby bella and shiitake mushrooms had a purpose. Risotto with Blueberries and Mushrooms had to be made!

This risotto del bosco is as delicious as I remember it. Creamy risotto is the perfect way to showcase how well sweet, peak season blueberries pair with earthy mushrooms. Plus, it’s easy to make (risotto comes together in barely 30 minutes, start to finish!) and my kids love the fun twist of mixing fruit and veggies in an otherwise simple, kid-friendly dish (one of their favorites!).

As far as I’m concerned, this is a gorgeous seasonal mushroom dish. No grill necessary. Imagine that!

“Risotto of the Woods” with Blueberries and Mushrooms

Recipe by Stacie Billis of One Hungry Mama

Serves 6 as a first course, 4 as a main course

Ingredients

  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth, plus more as necessary
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1¼  cup finely chopped shallot or onion
  • 8 ounces cleaned mushrooms, sliced (I used a combo of baby bellas & shiitake)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups aborio rice
  • ¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons mascarpone
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1½ cups washed, fresh blueberries

Directions

1. Heat stock to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and keep broth warm.

2. Melt butter with oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add shallots or onion and sauté until tender and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and thyme. Sauté until mushrooms soften, another 3-4 minutes.

3. Add rice, stir to coat all of the grains of rice and cook until for about 1 minute.

 4. Add wine. Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.

 5. Begin adding broth, ½ cup at a time. Stir constantly, waiting for each batch of broth to absorb before adding the next ½ cup. Risotto is done when the rice is al dente—is should be cooked through but still be a little toothsome—and the overall dish has a creamy texture.

 6. When the risotto is done, take it off of the heat and stir in the Parmesan, mascarpone, salt and pepper. Fold in blueberries last. Do this with only a few, gentle stirs—you want them to get warm, but don’t want them to break. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately.





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