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Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions Recipe

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Are you craving for a satisfying, super savory baked dish? You’re in for a treat—this recipe for baked mushroom risotto with caramelized onions is just the most mouthwatering savory rice-based dish you can imagine. And it’s not like any other risotto you’ve tried before.

Usually, a risotto requires monitoring the rice as it cooks over a stovetop. This means constant stirring, heat-adjusting, etc., just to achieve that ideal, creamy texture from the starch of the grains. This is the traditional risotto. It takes time and effort, but the result is a rewarding, five-star home-made dish. Well-known food publication Epicurious even shared their own version of the recipe.

The thing is, not everyone has a few hours to spare in the kitchen. That’s why this recipe calls for a more unorthodox version of a risotto. It’s less creamy and complex in texture because it’s baked in an oven as opposed to over a stovetop fire. In return, you get more time to prepare the rest of the dish. 

This savory recipe is vegan comfort food at its finest. The risotto is creamy, the mushroom is delicious, and the caramelized onion just brings it all home. So, what are we waiting for? Here is everything you’ll need to make this delicious Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions.

Ingredients

While this isn’t one of those recipes that you can craft by just grabbing a bunch of herbs, spices, and meats from your kitchen cupboards, what makes it so wonderful is that these ingredients take more time to choose and purchase. That way, you can make this dinner a more special occasion. Invite a few friends over to dinner and bond over the intricate flavor of this healthy meal!

To create this savory dish, here is everything you’ll need: 

  • 1/2 ounce dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • 4 yellow onions, roughly 2 pounds
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 large sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup Arborio rice or short-grain white rice
  • 2 cups vegetable broth* 
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese/Sour cream (optional)

The tools you’ll need are a cast iron skillet, an ovenproof pot or a Dutch oven. 

*Note: This recipe is primarily vegan and dairy-free, but you may substitute the vegetable broth for chicken broth if desired. The Epicurious version of this recipe also uses thyme sprigs in lieu of rosemary.

Directions

Step 1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven and pre-heat to 300°F. In a different bowl or kettle, boil 2 cups of water. Then, remove any grit or dust from the dried mushrooms by rinsing them lightly. Put them in a bowl and pour the boiling water, setting aside to steep. 

Step 2. Dice one onion, then take 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat in your ovenproof pot/Dutch oven over medium heat. Mix in the onion (now diced), garlic, and cook, stirring for about 8 minutes until the garlic and onions turn soft and golden. Push them to the side to make space for the cremini mushrooms. Turn the heat up to medium-high, then add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes without stirring. Flip the mushrooms and cook until browned and crusting at the bottom.

Step 3. Without throwing away the liquid, drain the dried mushrooms. Add them and your rosemary sprig into the pan and sauté briefly. Mix in the Arborio rice and cook, stirring occasionally, making sure the mushrooms and rosemary sprig are well-cooked as well. Do this for about 4 minutes.

Step 4. Turn the heat up to high. Add in your white wine, vinegar, broth, and reserved mushroom steeping liquid. Stir occasionally, scraping any mushrooms that may be sticking to the bottom of the pan. 

Step 5. Sprinkle salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a tight and secure lid. Place it in your oven, then set a timer for 35 minutes. Leave your pan to bake and make the caramelized onions in the meantime.

Step 6. Slice your remaining three onions into thin strips or half-moons. To cook the spoonful of caramelized onions, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions into the olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally until the onions turn a dark brown. You can cook as long as you wish, but 30-35 minutes is the sweet spot.

Step 7. Finally, once your risotto is cooked through, let it stand uncovered for about 5 minutes. Now’s the fun part: you can choose to serve it with vegan cream or sour cream and more caramelized onion. However, the rich mushroom flavor and the contrast of the onions make this dish compelling on its own. Yum!

The savory mushrooms, creamy risotto, and caramelized onions all go together to make a bed of flavors so rich you can’t get enough of it. Good thing it’s easy to make!

We hope we’ve made your dinners a little more exciting with this recipe. Care to look for more? We’ve got plenty of rice-based goodies in store for you. Check these rice-based recipes out here.

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Ji-hyun

Hailing from California, USA. Ji-hyun is a Korean American 🇰🇷🇺🇸 with two growing boys who eat their weight in rice each week. After graduating UCLA & becoming a mom she started We Know Rice as a guide for all the students and moms out there looking to cook healthy and filling meals.

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