Mushroom & Saffron Risotto

Mushroom & Saffron Risotto

Zoe Lake



  • Two decent sized shallots
  • One knob of butter (or vegan equivalent)
  • 200g risotto rice (washed in a sieve first)
  • One glass of white wine (and another one to enjoy whilst you cook)
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock (I use two stock cubes/pots to 1 litre of boiling water)
  • Aprox. 10 strands of saffron (completely optional, but it does add another layer)
  • 300g mushrooms
  • Garlic oil (or you can make your own by simmering crushed garlic cloves in extra virgin olive oil for 15 minutes and then discard the cloves) or simply use extra virgin olive oil.


    1. Finely chop the shallots and with the knob of butter in a deep pan, sauté until they are translucent on a high heat, this will only take a few minutes. Your kitchen will smell amazing.
    2. Add the washed rice and mix in with the shallots for a minute before adding the glass of wine.
    3. Now add the stock and the saffron and knock the heat down to low. Many people prefer to soak the saffron first for 30 minutes in warm water, milk or even white wine to draw out more colour and ensure that it distributes evenly as you don’t need to use very much. However, I can feel lazy occasionally and because we’re cooking this dish on low for a while, I have found it works fine to omit this step. I will leave it up to you.
    4. You can choose to stand and casually stir as you sip your glass of wine, but you may need to add a little more water as it will evaporate quicker. However, on a low heat, you can put a lid on the pan and stir every few minutes instead, until the majority of the liquid is absorbed, approximately 20-30 minutes.
    5. Meanwhile, whilst you’re awaiting the risotto to fully absorb, slice your mushrooms thinly and fry in a little garlic oil, with the lid on at first for around 5 minutes and then remove the lid to evaporate some of the moisture produced.
    6. Once beginning to brown, remove the mushrooms from the heat. Your risotto should now be looking rather creamy, so when ready, remove from the heat and serve with the mushrooms scattered on top.

    This is such a wonderfully comforting dish, we love it any time of year, but it feels at home in autumn. It is very simple to make, so easy to create when friends are over as you will find that everyone wants to have a stir of the rice.

    Leftovers freeze ok, although the rice can become a little fluffy so it is best enjoyed on the day or heated up the following day for lunch. And, well, maybe finish that bottle of wine with it.