Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Mary Catherine Muir
6 servings (serving size: about 1 cup risotto, 1 cup mushroom mixture, and 2 teaspoons parmesan)

Winning recipe--Chef Charles Dale, Renaissance Restaurant, Aspen, Colorado. Charles' tips: Any combination of mushrooms will work. Use cold chicken stock (even though simmering stock is typically used in risotto) to prevent splattering. Make sure there's some liquid left in the risotto; in fact, it should be pourable because the rice will absorb it as it sits. Always salt mushrooms after they are sautéed, or the salt will pull out their natural water and they'll poach.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare risotto, combine water and broth; set aside. Melt butter in a large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/3 cup shallots; cover and cook 2 minutes. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, uncovered, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 cup wine; cook 30 seconds or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Stir in Gouda; cook just until melted. Stir in spinach; cook just until spinach is wilted.

Step 2

To prepare mushrooms, heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add 1/3 cup shallots, 1/4 cup wine, chopped thyme, chopped rosemary, and minced garlic, and sauté 1 minute or until wine is absorbed. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.

Step 3

Divide risotto evenly among 6 bowls; top with mushroom mixture, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Renaissance Restaurant, Aspen, Colorado

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Ratings & Reviews

mhall444's Review

September 10, 2013

cheese77's Review

May 01, 2013
This was a decent base recipe and I think, with some modifications could be great. My biggest complaint was that if you cook the risotto according to the directions, it's way under cooked. Next time, I'm going to modify it to cook a lot longer. The risotto could have also used more seasoning. Garlic maybe? Or possibly cajun might give it a good kick. The mushroom topping was great. We're on a budget so just used shiitakis and white mushrooms, but still great.

germantine's Review

January 19, 2012
This turned out okay. Not the best risotto I've had, but it's a solid, basic, and very easy recipe to start with. I think I would've preferred a non-smoked gouda cheese or just the usual parmesan. I would've also preferred the mushroom mixture, actually, mixed in at the end with the rice. Also, should've made the mushroom mixture first and left covered on low heat. Hindsight, that was my mistake for not thinking the execution through. It does not take that long to make the rice...about 1/2 hour, so all in all about 1 hour to complete the entire recipe. Without the mushroom mixture, I think this would be a better recipe for risotto balls or cakes. This recipe is worth a try because it is easy and not much prep required.

KNWOLF's Review

March 13, 2011
This was very flavorful and creamy! I could not find oyster mushrooms, so I just used more of the other mushrooms. The only suggestion I have would be to use half the rosemary and thyme. They were a bit overpowering. Overall, a very yummy recipe!

jeichert1980's Review

August 24, 2010
This was incredibly good! The smoked gouda really gave the risotto a nice flavor and paired wonderfully with the mushrooms. One thing to note, I think the correct serving for the mushrooms is 1/2 cup...not 1 cup. I will definitely make this dish again!!

Cramera11's Review

January 12, 2010
Wow, I think I did something wrong after reading these reviews. I thought it was just ok. It was my first time cooking risotto and didn't realize that it takes about 1.5 hours to absorb all of the liquid. Just had some of the leftovers and I still don't think I cooked it right, the risotto seems to be not totally done. I would try it again after reading everyone else's reviews and just have more patience with the process.

Muff1n's Review

February 17, 2009
This is a fantastic recipe. I could not find button and cremini mushrooms so another variety was used in their stead. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. The result was delicious.