November 20th, 2011

Chanterelle Risotto


It’s a rainy afternoon in Nashville, and I should be doing other things. I have a writing assignment, due tomorrow, barely started. We leave early Tuesday morning for the long drive up to DC for Thanksgiving festivities with my daughter and son-in-law—and I gotta get cooking, too.

Cornbread dressing needs its cornbread base; pumpkin pies need their butter-rich crusts, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes ain’t nothin’ without a bundle of roasted garlic cloves.

I will get to all of that; I promise. I’m a seasoned procrastinator, if nothing else. For ill or naught, I’ve convinced myself that I do better work under the tick-tick-tick of a deadline.

Besides, I have something more enticing at hand to share with you: a rich bowl of risotto, laden with gold: Chanterelles!


For their rare yellow-orange hue, silken but meaty texture, and delicate taste—nutlike, earthy, with hint of stone fruit—-I prize these mushrooms above the others.

Foraged or harvested, Now is their Time. I’ve seen these beauties turning up at the grocery store (Whole Foods) but I was stunned this week to find them at Costco. And, at $10 a pound.



The chanterelle’s distinctive flavor warrants simplicity in preparation, perhaps imbued in a bisque, or tangled in a pasta. You really want to showcase this mushroom–and not overpower it with heavy or competing tastes.

Today, using some pantry staples, I made a risotto. It didn’t take long, and was a pleasure to make. Leeks lent a sweet green contrast. Chanterelle stems chopped and cooked into the mixture added depth.

A good risotto is dependent on a good broth. Organic mushroom broth purchased at the market is a bit of a “cheater” –but a respectable product. I find it preferable to vegetable or chicken broth in this instance.

I didn’t use it exclusively—I added water as well. If there had been a bottle of sherry in my pantry, I would have stirred in a cup.


I’ve talked about Carnaroli Rice before, and if you can find it, I encourage you to give it a try. A larger, plumper grain with higher starch content, the Italians call it their superfino.


Stir-stir, pour, and stir some more–

It’s actually fun to watch the rice absorb the liquid, plump up, and release its starches. Time? Thirty minutes–and it goes quickly. When you’re immersed in the process, that dimension vanishes.


Risotto-making gives you time to think–and today, while stirring and savoring its perfume, I thought about you, and this blog. And how I’d better post this recipe as soon as possible. Because you’d enjoy this dish on a dreary fall afternoon.

It is simple comfort food, with fancy-pants style.


My thoughts also turned to this season of giving thanks and expressing gratitude, the ebb and flow of what we give and what we receive. Health. A warm home and loving family. A stocked pantry. A garden. Art. Words. Beautiful things.

And, many friends, some unseen.

I want to thank you all for stopping by to visit, reading and commenting. It’s always nice to have you along on my little culinary journey, sharing good food and camaraderie. I value our connections.


Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving! If you’re traveling, be safe. Enjoy the bounty at the table and the time spent together. We’ll visit again soon—


1 lb. Chanterelles
2 Leeks
8 T. Butter
1 1/2 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice
1 qt. Mushroom Broth
2 cups Water (or 1 cup Water, 1 cup Sherry)
Salt and Cracked Black Pepper
a few shavings of Parmegiano-Reggiano

Carefully clean the mushrooms. Trim the stems, and reserve.
Cut the remaining bulk of the mushroom (mostly cap, some stem) into slices.
Clean and thinly slice the leeks. Divide.
Coarsely chop the reserved stem pieces.
In a large stockpot set on medium heat, saute the chanterelle pieces with half of the chopped leeks in 4 T. melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in short-grain rice, and let the grains get coated with the buttery saute. Reduce heat to low.

Pour in one cup mushroom broth and stir well.

In a separate skillet, melt remaining butter. Saute sliced chanterelles and leeks with a flick of salt and pepper for about 5 minutes–until leeks collapse, and chanterelles become soft, tender. Remove from heat. (You can do this step before cooking the rice, if you like.)

Continue adding liquid to the rice mixture, stirring often, scraping the sides and bottom of the pot so that nothing sticks. Alternate mushroom broth and water. (or water/sherry), adding more liquid as the rice absorbs it.

It takes about 30 minutes for the rice to plump up, while releasing the starches that make that delectable spoon-creaminess.

Stir in sauteed chanterelles and leeks, reserving a few spoonfuls to place on top of each bowl.

Spoon risotto into bowls. Place a scoop of sliced chanterelles in the center. Garnish with a few shaving of parmegiano-reggiano, if desired.

Serves 4-6.


Posted in Gluten Free, Recipes, Rice/Other Grains/Legumes, Vegetarian Dishes

30 Responses to “Chanterelle Risotto”
  1. Three-Cookies Says:

    Nice, I was planning to have this for lunch tomorrow. Now I definitely will:)

  2. Renee Says:

    In the spirit of giving thanks, I must say that I’m especially thankful for this blog– oh the many recipies I have used and oh the many compliments I have received. Thank you, Good Food Matters!

    I just bought some chanterelles and am looking forward to incorporating them into our Thanksgiving feast… perhaps in a risotto!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Nic@diningwithastud Says:

    Packaged mushroom broth? Thats fab!! Im not sure I’ve seen that in Oz :)

  4. Michele | Cooking At Home Says:

    Among the things I am thankful for is having your blog to stop by and read–filled with good food and love. Thank you, Nancy. Have a great Thanksgiving with your family.

  5. Kitchen Belleicious Says:

    just one look at those chanterelle mushrooms and I am hooked on this dish. Anything involving those beauties has to be amazing. the risotto looks perfectly and exceptionally cooked. I am drooling over this and wish I had it for dinner tonight

  6. Maggie Says:

    Nance, this looks so delicious! Thank you for all that you share – your food, your words, and yourself. Have a safe and happy thanksgiving! Much love and appreciation….

  7. Barbara Says:

    Wow! I love risotto anyway–and this looks delicious. I wish you were coming to my house for Thanksgiving!

  8. heather Says:

    Thank you Nancy and thank you for taking the time to share your passion with us. I look forward to reading your posts every time. Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Barbara Says:

    Nancy, your chanterelle risotto looks wonderful. Morels take first place in my favorite mushroom department, but these are perfect for the risotto.
    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your daughter! Drive safely!

  10. Wendy Says:

    Really lovely blog–not only beautiful food but also beautiful thoughts on the depth and meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday.

  11. rhonda Says:

    That looks so good!!!! We’ll be making that soon! Have a safe trip and a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  12. Cathy Says:

    Nancy, I am sorry I won’t see you, but I will think of you enjoying the holiday with your family. I am thankful for our connection. Safe and pleasant travels!

  13. Teresa/ Says:

    Love to Madeleine & Tony in DC, to Bill in Nashville and much to you my good friend for sharing this beautiful recipe and all the other food memories this year both via Good Food Matters and in person. I treasure you. Happy, happy Thanksgiving. T

  14. Tony Says:

    We planned on Chipotle for Thanksgiving dinner. This is much better.

  15. Christy Says:

    Awwww, you skipped your own writing assignment to share this with us, that’s lovely!:)
    Have a lovely Thanksgiving, am sure you will come back with even more food stuffs to share!;)
    Safe trip and have an awesome time :D

  16. Beth Says:

    Your risotto looks lovely. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  17. Mary Says:

    This looks heavenly! I saw those same mushrooms at Costco and almost picked them up. I’ve never tried them and I would love to. This sounds like the perfect way to showcase them.

  18. Magda Says:

    Nancy, chanterelles are perhaps my favorite mushrooms and this is time to get them, you’re right. I don’t make risotto often, but I’m bookmarking your recipe. I will be trying it next week as a friend of ours will be coming over for dinner and he LOVES risotto.
    Thank you!

  19. Tammy Says:

    Woman, you are a goddess! this is the most beautiful dish and I love chanterelles. Will save for when my mil takes me mushrooming.

  20. Caroline Says:

    Yum! This looks fantastic, Nancy. x

  21. Nancy Says:

    I have never tired a dish like this but will certainly make this; it sounds simply “delicious”!!!!

  22. Faith Says:

    Lol, I am a seasoned procrastinator too! It’s ok, maybe we do our best work under pressure? (I know that’s my excuse, lol!) This dish looks wonderful…hearty and comforting…those chanterelles are lovely and irresistible!

    Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  23. FOODESSA Says:

    Just as this risotto warms my tummy strings…so does waiting for what comes next from your talents in the kitchen. I love mushrooms in general…these chanterells sing in this meal ;o)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.
    Happy trails my dear Nancy. Stay safe.

    Ciao for now,

  24. angela@spinachtiger Says:

    This would not be wasted on me. I am such a chanterelle fan and this could be the meal of the day. I live in Nashville area too, and this is the comfort food I crave more than anything.

  25. Emily Malloy @Cleanliness Says:

    Gorgeous risotto!

  26. The Elegant Eggplant Says:

    What a beautiful risotto! I love risotto with mushrooms.. theres such an amazing earthiness there. GORGEOUS!

  27. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    Thank you, Nancy, for always inspiring me.

  28. Anna and Liz Recipes Says:

    Wonderful recipe! This looks amazing and cooked perfectly. Never used a mushroom broth but now I will have to try. thanks for sharing great recipes!

  29. Christine Says:

    Wow! Chanterelles for$10 per pound! Unheared of. You do such great things with chanterelles, I still pine for your chanterelle tart. This risotto looks fab!

  30. Good Food Matters » Blog Archive » Chanterelle Confit Says:

    […] years it works out, prompting me to make the likes of chanterelle tart, risotto, and savory bread pudding. When I discovered the cache this year, I knew in an instant that I could […]

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