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Herbed Orzo Risotto with Wild Mushrooms

Shiitake mushrooms can be found with or without stems. If you are using shiitake mushrooms with stems, remove them and set aside for later use. The amount of salt used is dependent upon how much parmesan cheese is used. Start off with 1 teaspoon of salt, then add salt to preference while tasting the risotto. Keep in mind that the saltiness of the risotto should balance with the dish with which you serve the risotto.


  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 5 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushroom caps, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, torn in half
  • 1 1/2 cups dried orzo
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 5-6 cups low-sodium chicken stock, warmed
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped


  • Using kitchen twine, create an herb bundle by tying together the rosemary, sage and thyme. Set aside.
  • In a large pan heat the olive oil, onion, mushrooms and herb bundle over medium heat. Cook until the onion and mushrooms are softened about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the orzo and stir to coat with the oil. Let it warm for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir frequently.
  • Add the white wine and bring to a boil. With a wooden spoon, scrape up any onion or orzo that has stuck to the pan.
  • Once the wine has been absorbed by the orzo, add 3/4 cup of chicken stock. Stir constantly. Once the liquid is absorbed, add another 3/4 cup of stock. Continue this process of adding stock and stirring until the orzo is cooked. This will take about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, add the butter and stir into the mixture until the butter is melted. Add the cheese and salt to the risotto and stir to combine. Serve warm topped with a generous handful of fresh basil and dill.