Saturday, March 3

Mushroom & Green Bean Risotto

This past weekend marks a very special date for me.   Exactly one year ago today I created Red Lab 27.  I always thought it would be fun to have a blog, but I never knew what to write about.  Luckily at that time there were many new changes happening in my life.  My new job brought me a different city to explore and eventually I stumbled upon the local library.  Checking out cookbooks was much more fun than buying them, plus there was an endless supply.  With all the new dishes I was making, I finally had a subject to write about.  As an added benefit, I knew that if I had my own blog, my tech savvy husband would be so proud. 

Trying a new recipe each week and blogging about it has become a true passion of mine.  Because of Red Lab 27, I’ve made new connections and friends.  I can’t begin to explain how rewarding it is when followers I don’t know leave comments on my site about a recipe they’ve tried!    More than anything I love inspiring people to cook.  You don’t have to be a professional chef to produce amazing dishes at home.  I’m by no means a pro, but in the eyes of my husband I am, and that’s what counts!

For Red Lab 27’s one year anniversary I wanted to make one of my favorite dishes.  But which one?!  That’s when I realized I hadn’t shared this recipe for Mushroom & Green Bean Risotto!  If you’ve never tried Risotto it’s a popular Italian dish made of rice, that’s cooked in broth, to a creamy consistency. Y-U-M! 

Please be forewarned that this dish takes time.  It’s not hard, it just takes patience.  At the very end you’ll find yourself standing by the stove, stirring for a half hour, as the broth is slowly absorbed into the rice mixture.  The original directions say to stir constantly.  What?!  The first time I made this meal I stirred and stirred for the full half hour (no breaks!).  However, the 2nd time around I stirred for a minute, put some dishes away, and continued stirring with little breaks in between.  This worked just as well and didn’t affect the taste.

Fresh green beans and mushrooms

Before you begin this dish, you may be wondering where to find a few of the ingredients.  Dried porcini mushrooms can be found in the produce section of your grocery store.  Dried mushrooms are typically kept refrigerated, near the fresh mushrooms.   I had to spend some time searching for the short-grain rice.  Who knew there were so many kinds of rice lengths!  But it’s very important to buy short-grain rice, as it easily absorbs liquid and will cook more quickly.  I used gluten free, Lundberg Short Grain Brown Rice.  Also, do not cheat and buy Kraft Parmesan Cheese.  Buy real Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and grate it yourself.  Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano is absolutely amazing!  There's no comparison.  Trust me, if you put in the effort to make this dish, you want to properly finish it.  This cheese is a little more expensive (approx. $10 for a block) and can be found near the fine cheeses.

Soaking the dried porcini mushrooms

This dish is sinfully delicious and has become one of our regulars now.  My husband described it as a “techno party” in his mouth.  While I was taking the pictures for my blog, we couldn’t contain ourselves and were sneaking bites here and there, until the photos were done.  When you take your first bite, your heart will melt and you’ll feel as if you’re dining at an exquisite Italian restaurant.  Also, did I mention that this dish is healthy too?!  Cooking Light provided the nutritional value of 434 calories in one serving (1 ¾ cup).  What a great dinner option! Enjoy!

Mushroom & Green Bean Risotto
Serves 4
Prep Time: 45 mins.
Total Time: 1 hour 5 mins.


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup short-grain brown rice
  • 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (approximately .5 oz.)
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cups green beans (cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 cup vidalia onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped


  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and add 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in rice.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Drain and set aside. Note: Rice will not be done, this is ok.
  2. Place dried porcini mushrooms in a medium bowl.  Cover mushrooms with 3 cups hot water.  Let stand for 15 minutes. Using a sieve, drain over a bowl; reserve liquid. Chop porcini.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet (with tall sides) over medium-high heat. Add sliced, fresh mushrooms.  Sauté for 8 minutes or until moisture evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown; stir occasionally.
  4. Stir in chopped porcini, green beans, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.  Cook for 2 minutes or until the green beans are crisp-­tender. Place mushroom mixture in a large bowl and keep warm.
  5. Return skillet to medium-high heat.  Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Sauté onion for 4 minutes or until tender.
  6. Add rice to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes; stir occasionally. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; combine well.
  7. Stir in wine and cook for 2 minutes or until the wine evaporates; stir constantly.
  8. Add 1/2 cup reserved mushroom liquid to rice mixture.  Stir constantly for 3 minutes or until the liquid is almost absorbed. Repeat until the mushroom liquid is gone (approximately 30 minutes total).
  9. Add grated Parmigiano-­Reggiano, parsley, and thyme; stir to combine well.  
  10. If desired sprinkle with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese before serving.  Enjoy!


  1. This is a must try recipe for risotto lovers.

  2. this looks fantastic! i love the idea of using brown rice for risotto.

    1. Thanks Christine! I highly recommend this recipe if you like mushrooms as it's one of our favorites.

  3. what if one can't find short-grain brown rice? I live in Australia and white rice seems to be king in all the grocery stores; health food stores only have long grain. I suppose the cooking time will just be extra long??

    1. MadameMarsh I have only made risotto this one time but understand your dilemma. I did some research on the internet and if you were to use long grain rice instead, the difference is that your risotto will not be as creamy and not stick together. The result will be more of a rice pilaf. It can be done but the results will not be the same. Here are 2 articles you may find useful. One is a written by a lady that only uses long grain rice, and the second is a discussion of people that have tried making risotto with long grain and short grains and their experience.

      Another option is that you can always order rice online if this kind is not common in the grocery stores. Good luck! If you do try it with long grain rice, please let me know how it turns out.


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