When I set out on this five week project to lead a gluten free lifestyle, I wanted to achieve two things primarily. Understanding the reality of having to reshape, not by choice, your life around the food that you eat. And secondly, to create recipes which suffer in no way from being gluten free-if anything the opposite. I wanted to create a collection of recipes which would not only appeal to a gluten free diet, but inspire someone having to cook gluten free food to get excited about cooking. Most importantly, I wanted there to be no distinction between the flavour and fun of these gluten free recipes compared to any other on my blog. So many people have horrid misconceptions that gluten free food is inferior. However, just like anything else, with a little thought, consideration and imagination, recipes without gluten can be, and are, absolutely delicious! It has got me thinking about recipes in a whole new way, and trying out new ideas which I get so excited about sharing with you. So excited in fact, that I am now spending every single waking free moment planning, cooking, writing and sharing recipes! One such recipe is the Wild Rice Risotto.
I very rarely post recipes on my blog which take as long as this recipe, but the fact that this recipe requires some time is rendered meaningless by the end result. I adore risotto, and I love wild rice and have always wondered what would happen if you treated wild rice like a risotto. Essentially, not being made form risotto rice, it is not a risotto, but it is treated in exactly the same way, and the results are just so wonderful. Wild rice has a delicious nutty and wholesome flavour which, in my mind, propels it thirty thousand feet taller, higher, tastier than white rice. This is a simple dish of wild rice, closed cap mushrooms, a touch of parmesan and parsley, but the final flavour of this dish feels and tastes far from simple. It is a classic example of combining simple ingredients which achieve exceptional flavour. If you cook any of my gluten free recipes, please do make this a priority. I am as excited about this recipe as I am about this weekends trip to Rome!
A few little tips for this dish…Wild rice has a very different composition to risotto rice so you can afford cook it on a slightly higher heat. This is beneficial as wild rice also takes quite a while to cook. Also, you don’t have to stand over it in quite the same way as a risotto, just make sure to stir thoroughly 2 -3 times between adding the wine and stock, and for a minute or so at each time. The final result will have quite a bit of texture to it, wild rice has more bite than normal white rice. Just worth a mention in case you are worried it’s not cooked. Finally, pour a glass of wine for yourself and who ever you are cooking this with, and enjoy the time spent over this delicious meal!
15g of butter
A glug of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh bay leaf
400ml white wine
150 g wild rice (I used a mix of Red Camargue and wild rice, you can buy in a pack from Waitrose)
Approximately 1.6 litres of chicken stock (if you don’t have stock, use gluten free stock cubes)
20g of parmesan cheese plus a little extra for garnish
1 tablespoon of cream, or use natural yogurt as a healthier option
very large bunch of parsley ( 50-70g) chopped finely
200g small closed cup mushrooms, quartered
Melt the butter with the oil in a medium heavy based frying pan. When foaming add the shallot, and sweat for a few minutes. If it starts to brown reduce the heat. Add the garlic and fry very gently for a couple of minutes.
After a couple of minutes and when the oil and butter is foaming around the garlic and onions, add the rice, stir and heat through for one minute
Add 200ml of the white wine and the bay leaf and bring to a medium simmer. This is the point where you will continually add liquid, allowing each batch to be absorbed, stirring occasionally.
After about 5 minutes, when the wine has reduced to a syrupy thick consistency add the next 200ml, stirring occasionally as above.
When the wine has been absorbed, add 400 ml of chicken stock, or 400 ml of water and a stock cube if you don’t have fresh stock. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until mostly absorbed.
After about 10-12 minutes, when the liquid has been absorbed, add another 400ml, and do as before. Do this two more times, adding the liquid in 400ml batches, until all the liquid has been used. It should take in or around 10-12 minutes for each 400ml to be absorbed.
When all the liquid has been added and absorbed, turn off the heat, cover the pan with cling film so that it locks in all of the air and leave for 1o minutes.
When ready, stir in the cream or yogurt, grated parmesan, parsley and season to taste.
Serve, garnished with the mushrooms, some freshly grated parmesan and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.
For the mushrooms:
Quarter the mushrooms. I like to leave the little stalk on them but it’s up to you!
Bring a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil to a high heat and fry the mushrooms, stirring so that they get an even colour. They will soak up the olive oil instantly, but don’t be tempted to add more, as the mushrooms continue to cook they begin to release their own juices.
When they are almost ready, after about seven minutes, add a knob of butter. This will help them get a beautiful glazed brown colour as well as add flavour.
When nicely browned, season well with salt and pepper. You can do these in advance and warm them through just before serving, or do them while your risotto is cooking.
To read more about my 5 week commitment to giving up gluten, follow the links below: