Leek & Prosciutto Risotto with Sautéed Oyster Mushrooms

        From the blog For Love of the Table

2 to 3 large leeks, white and pale green parts only

3 T. unsalted butter

1 large or 2 small shallots (about 2 to 3 oz.), finely diced

2 t. minced thyme (optional)

1 1/2 c. Arborio or Carnaroli rice

1/2 to 2/3 c. dry white wine

About 6 c. hot chicken stock

3 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto (about 6 slices), cut crosswise in 1/4-inch strips

2 T. butter

1/2  to 2/3 c. finely grated Parmesan

Salt & Pepper, to taste


8 to 10 oz. (trimmed weight) oyster mushrooms, larger ones torn in half (see note)

Olive oil

2 T. butter

1 1/2 to 2 T. minced Italian flat leaf parsley


Prepare the leeks: Trim away the root and the dark green portion of the leeks.  Cut the white and pale green portion in half lengthwise.  Slice each half thinly crosswise (about 1/4-inch thick).  You should have 3 1/2 to 4 cups of leeks.  Rinse the leeks well in several changes of water to make sure that they are entirely free of soil and sand.


Heat the butter in a heavy medium saucepan (preferably one that is wider than it is deep) over medium heat.  Add the leeks along with the shallots and thyme and sweat until the leeks have wilted and the shallots are soft—about 10 to 15 minutes.  Add another tablespoon of butter if the leeks seem dry as they cook. 


Add the rice and continue to cook for a minute or two until the rice is well coated with the butter and is sizzling a bit.  Add the wine and cook until the pan is nearly dry.  Begin to add the stock.  Add enough so that the stock is at the same level as the rice in the pan—the rice should move freely, but not be ‘swimming’ in the liquid.  Adjust the heat so that the rice cooks at a slow simmer.  Stir occasionally and regularly (this will enhance the creaminess of the final risotto.) When the pan is nearly dry, add more stock and season lightly with salt & pepper.  Continue to stir and cook the rice, adding more stock and seasoning lightly as each addition is absorbed. 


While the risotto cooks, sauté the mushrooms:  As always, when sautéing mushrooms, do not over-crowd the pan.  If necessary, sauté in batches.  Heat a non-stick sauté pan over high heat.  Add a thin film of oil to the pan.  You should see a wisp of smoke if the pan is hot enough.  Add the butter and the mushrooms. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned, tender and any liquid that they have given off has evaporated.  Season with salt and pepper.  If sautéing in batches, transfer the mushrooms to a plate and repeat with the next batch.  When all of the mushrooms have been sautéed, return all of the mushroom to the pan and heat through.  Add a splash of the stock to the pan (or use water or white wine if you have used all of the stock for the risotto) and allow it to reduce around the mushrooms.  Toss in the parsley.  Taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.  Set aside until the risotto is done.  Reheat briefly if necessary before serving.


When the rice is al dente—about 18 to 20 minutes from the first addition of stock, stir in the prosciutto.  Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, cheese and parsley….and adding more stock as necessary to achieve a fluid consistency. Taste and correct the seasoning and serve immediately topped with the wild mushrooms.


Serves 4 as an entrée


Note:  If you are unable to find oyster mushrooms, any favorite mushroom (crimini, white button, shiitake, chanterelles, etc.) will work.   For mushrooms other than oysters, trim and slice 1/4-inch thick before sautéing.