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Brown Rice Mushroom Risotto
Brown Rice Mushroom Risotto has been a totally delicious winter favourite for 20 years. First made at Mortz, organic restaurant in Sydney. Rich, simple and satisfying it nourishes the earth element of body, mind and soul. The combination of mushrooms, brown rice and miso is makes this a mega rich meal for strengthening nervous system health – you will feel fed and nourished!
There’s been some beautiful fresh pine mushrooms at the local organic shop so I’ve included those as a ‘mushroom’ option. Pine mushrooms have a slight woody fragrance and lovely soft orangey brown colour, adding a tasty variation. You can use all button mushrooms or a combo of button, Swiss-brown and pine mushrooms, depending on what’s available.
Dried Shitake mushrooms are usually available in health food stores. They have a rich smoky flavour and smell and add great flavour to the stock and finished risotto.
Using brown rice that is already cooked makes this super easy to make!! It reduces the stirring and cooking time of traditional risottos. You can have the rice cooked ready to go. It also adds the many nutritional benefits of brown rice, which you can discover below.
Any left over Risotto keeps well for a couple of days in the fridge and re-heats easily. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and fry it like a patty – delicious!
This quantity generously serves 4
2 cups short or medium grain brown rice
Celtic sea salt
20g dried shitake mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
2 tbsp genmai miso
1 cup boiling
1 large red onion, peeled and finely chopped
400g fresh mushrooms – choose from button, Swiss-brown and pine mushrooms
4 tbsp olive oil
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled
A handful of mixed fresh herbs ie rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano – about a bunch in total
About 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
*Scroll down for Shopping List
Rinse the brown rice with cold water
Put in a saucepan and cover with double its volume of water.
Add a big pinch of Celtic salt and bring to the boil.
Once boiling, simmer for about 30 minutes until tender – most of the water will be absorbed, check rice towards the end of cooking as you may need to add a little more water.
If all the water has been absorbed simply leave covered and set aside. If there is excess water drain the rice through a colander and cover with a lid, set aside. Place shitake mushrooms in a bowl and cover with 1 cup boiling water. Soak for atleast 15 minutes until soft.
Put the miso in a mug with 1 cup boiling water and stir dissolve
Wipe clean the mushrooms with dry kitchen towel and roughly slice.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan and sauté the onions and mushrooms until golden.
Add the garlic and herbs, keeping a few herbs for garnish. Cook for another couple of minutes.
Squeeze the liquid from the shitake mushrooms, keeping for the stock. Finely slice the mushrooms, discarding any stalks that are still hard.
Stir the rice and sliced Shitake mushrooms through the onion and mushrooms.
Add the miso and mushroom stock and simmer very gently for a couple of minutes, The risotto should be nice and wet but not sloppy. ** see notes on miso below
Adjust liquid and salt to taste
Fold through a generous amount of Parmesan cheese to taste. Garnish with grated or shaved Parmesan and fresh herbs.
If you don’t want to use Parmesan cheese replace with Tahini. Stir through a couple of spoonfuls to taste to make a nice creamy risotto.
Serve with a crisp green salad & enjoy!
Shopping List – organic where possible
400g short or medium grain brown rice – available from most supermarkets, health stores or organic shops
Celtic sea salt
extra virgin olive oil
20g shitake mushrooms – health store
barley or genmai miso – health store
1 large red onion
400g mushrooms – one or more from button, cup or pine mushrooms
fresh herbs – choose 1 or more from – rosemary, thyme, sage or oregano
150-200g quality Parmesan cheese
salad greens if you’re serving with a salad
Nutrition Foodie Notes to Nourish your Body Mind and Soul
Mushrooms have the geometric signature pattern of the thyroid gland and contain a high concentration of iodine. The amount of nutrition packed into mushrooms is incredible, containing many of the minerals necessary for the human body as well as B vitamins, which are essential for the healthy day-to-day functioning of the nervous system. Shitake mushrooms are an absolute storehouse of valuable nutrients. All mushrooms help decrease fat levels in the blood.
Brown Rice is a gem. Rich in B vitamins and minerals that strengthen nervous system health and function, something nearly every human can benefit from! Make it a staple in your diet and enjoy the benefits of a calm steady nervous system! High in amino acids it compliments being eaten with legumes and beans, creating a complete protein food.
As with any processed grain, the valuable nutrients are stripped out when processing it into. Without the B vitamins in brown rice, rice has no life!!
Genmai or Barley Miso is made using ‘koji’, a culture that produces enzymes similar to those contained in human saliva and used in digesting carbohydrates and proteins.
Miso also contains various other ingredients such as soybeans, brown rice, barley, wheat, salt and water, varying according to the type of miso. The koji digests the beans mixture by producing certain enzymes that changes it to a living organism and complete protein, thus enabling easy digestion. Miso also helps maintain an alkaline balance within the digestive system.
The fermentation process contributes to the rich vitamin B content – riboflavin, niacin and the valuable B12. Vitamin B12 is often said to be lacking in vegetarian diets so the addition of miso can make a valuable contribution. If you’re veggo, as I mostly am, pretty simple, ensure you get your B12 from sources such as miso!!
Miso helps the body eliminate toxins. It’s also wonderfully nourishing and tonic for the kidneys, beneficial particularly in the colder weather of winter.
Cooking destroys the enzymes in miso. I’m primarily using the miso here as a stock. If you’re a purist you may be horrified! If so, add it right at the end. The benefit of cooking it gently for a few minutes merges the flavour together soaking into the rice . .
It’s important to buy organic miso rather than miso containing genetically modified soy beans that are possibly used in non organic miso.
Rosemary is wonderful for improving memory and concentration! Used as a tea or in cooking it increases blood flow to the brain. The essential oil of Rosemary helps relieve tension headaches such as from driving all day. Rub a couple of drops of the essential oil onto the temples, keep well away from the eyes. It also helps relive muscular aches and pains after sudden hard physical activity – like sport or strong yoga workout! Add a few drops to a hot bath and soak. Beware, more is not necessarily better as my aggravate sensitive skin if too strong. You can always dilute first in a carrier oil.
Sage is a wonder herb and has a long history of therapeutic use mainly for strengthening the brain and memory by increasing blood flow to the head and brain. It actually carries nutrients through the blood-brain barrier and can be a powerful healing herb in this way. A daily intake would be beneficial for all!! Easy to make a sage tea by covering about a teaspoon of dried of fresh sage leaves with boiling water and seep for 5 minutes. Excellent for sore throats – make into a gargle with honey and apple cider vinegar.
Include the gifts of herbs in your cooking, they give a lot!
I’d love to hear from you so let me know how the recipe works for you.