Baby Bella + Shiitake Mushroom Risotto.

This is a big moment here. I, Thomas Scott Engstrom, think that I am slowly learning to like mushrooms. I know, I know, hold the phones! This is serious. Never in a million years did I think I would ever find myself enjoying the slimy texture and earthy tastes of mushrooms. Now if I am being completely upfront, I still wouldn't say that they are my favorite. However, I don't mind them as much as I used to. 

Risotto has always been a favorite of mine, especially around this time of the year. Wherever I go, whether it be a restaurant or a friends house, I feel as though the first type of risotto I hear about is mushroom. Is it really that special? After trying it out this past weekend, and finding myself enjoying it, I can can that yes, mushroom risotto is delicious. 

Don't let the rumors about the difficulty level of this recipe get to you. Honestly, pour yourself a glass of wine and make sure that you remind yourself to be patient. The process is time consuming and not a quick prep. However, after all is said and done, it is worth it. 

What are some other types of risotto that you love? Leave suggestions in the comments below - I would love to try them!


| Baby Bella + Shiitake Mushroom Risotto |
Serves 4 to 6


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, finely diced
4 cups chicken stock
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)
6 fresh baby bella mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and quartered
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned stemmed, and sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup of fresh parsley, roughly chopped


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the shallot to the pan and let it sweat.
  2. In another small saucepan over medium-high heat, warm your chicken stock.
  3. Once the shallot has become translucent, after about 5 minutes, add your garlic and sweat for another minute. Then add your rice to the shallot-garlic mixture and stir until everything is coated with butter. 
  4. Now add the wine and stir constantly until it is absorbed. Ladle in the hot stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition. When the stock is nearly evaporated, add more.
  5. When you are about halfway through the stock, add the mushrooms. 
  6. Continue adding stock and stirring until your rice is tender and looks "plump," about 15 minutes total. 
  7. Taste for doneness and season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat.
  8. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, then the Parmesan. 
  9. Allow your risotto to rest for 2-3 minutes at the back of your stovetop, covered.
  10. Add the lemon zest and parsley. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve!