Morels are a rare treat, we splurge on them once a year when they are in season here in Minnesota. I suppose we could try to forage for our own, but when time is short, it's just so easy to go pick them up at the Farmer's Market on the mall over my lunch break !
Usually, I just sauté these with some butter and a little white wine, so I can highlight their rich, delicate flavor, but I bought extra this year so I could try something different. We love risotto, and it seemed like a perfect way to use the extras. This is a traditional preparation of risotto, just with the addition of the morels.
1/4 pound morel mushrooms, rinsed well
1/4 cup shallots, finely diced
1 tablespoon butter, plus one for sauté later
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 cup Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine (I used a pinot grigio here)
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
2/3 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Slice morels, and divide in half. Start chicken stock simmering in a pot over very low heat. Place a large sauté pan oven medium heat and add butter and olive oil to pan. Melt together, and add shallots. Saute until soft, and then add until rice. stir until coated with butter, then add wine. Cook down until wine is mostly absorbed by rice. Start adding chicken stock one half cup at a time, stirring constantly. Add additional cup only when previous addition has been mostly absorbed by rice. Continue this process until all of the stock has been used up. Remove from heat, and stir in parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and half of the morels. In a separate, small sauté pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of butter and quickly sauté remaining morels. Place risotto in serving bowls, and top with the sautéed morels,