my copy of Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights has rested on the shelf for a good long while. i have eyed (and coveted) the prose and photography that grace its pages. marked recipes with bits of paper, as i’m known to do. then, distraction pounces away my attentions. magazines soon lounge atop the cookbook in a literary mash upon our coffee table. a few hard-bodied kai reads join in on the fun. before i know it, i’m reaching for its safe return to my grasp during a cleaning frenzy, and back to square one i am. until now.
finally, in the name of this week’s holiday, thanksgiving, i bring to you the first recipe i tried: buckwheat risotto with wild mushrooms. i admit that i also made the onion soup at the same time, but this risotto is oh so very appropriate for a thanksgiving side (a breeze to make) — especially if, like me, you are a new mum, and spare time has taken on a whole new meaning (slim pickings).
this risotto will serve the perfect side to bring to a gathering or something to spruce up the usual pickings at your own. better yet, maybe just make it for the good fun of having a tasty nibbler to pick from throughout this week while planning the other menu or afterwards when craving an easy and lighter nosh.
not much is required of you. grab a mess of scraggly or meaty or feather light mushrooms. give them a thorough heating in a pan slick with olive oil, wine, and shallot flecks. cook the buckwheat groats (or isreali couscous as I did since i couldn’t find buckwheat around these parts). turn in a generous spoonful of marscapone cheese to creamily sweeten the deal. then topple the ‘shrooms upon the couscous pearls across a favorite platter. that’s that, my friends.
recipe: adapted from sophie dahl’s buckwheat risotto with wild mushrooms
2 cups isreali couscous
salt and pepper
2 cups wild mushrooms, washed and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots, chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 cup marscapone cheese
cook the couscous according to the package instructions. once cooked, set aside.
over a medium heat, warm one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of olive oil in a deep saute pan. once the butter is melted, reduce the heat to low and add the shallots and garlic. cook until the shallots are semi-translucent, about five minutes. topple the mushrooms into the pan and stir in the salt and pepper to your liking. pour in half of the wine, cover the pan, and cook for an additional four minutes. with a slotted spoon, scoop the lot into a warm dish, reserving the pan juices.
to the reserved pan juices, add the couscous, the butter and olive oil that remain as well as the marscapone cheese. stir in the wine and cook for a few more minutes over a low heat.
serve as pictured above.