Since you can prepare a mushroom risotto quite easily, it is a dish you can find all year round in the Krautkopf Kitchen. We just use dried mushrooms quite often, since we always store them in our pantry and thus can start with little effort. So that it wouldn’t become dull, we vary the herbs, oils, brews and toppings we use for the risotto. It is porcini season, we could add some wonderfully fresh ones to the risotto. Instead of rice we used pearl barley.
With this recipe we tried a solely vegetable version of this classic. To give the risotto a creamy texture we cooked it not only in vegetable broth but also in aromatic hazelnut milk. The tasty hazelnut note also reflects in the oil we used, and in finely sliced hazelnuts in the ready dish. For our late summer porcini risotto we also knocked up a tartish sorbet made of green tomatoes from our balcony to create a spicy but fresh antipole.
Soak the hazelnuts for the milk over night and wash them before using them. Put all ingredients for the milk in a high performance blender and blend them until you get a foamy, milky fluid. Let the mixture rest for a couple of minutes to let the hazelnuts give their full taste. Afterwards, filter the milk through a cloth strainer and keep it in the fridge. The nuts’ remains can dried be used as flour.
For the sorbet incise the tomatoes crosswise and blanch them with boiling water. Strip the peel, half the tomatoes and cut out the stem. Peel and finely chop the garlic and shallots and sweat them in olive oil. Let it cool down a bit and blend with the tomatoes, basil and rice syrup. Season with salt and pepper, and process the mix in an ice cream maker. If you don’t own an ice cream maker should prepare the sorbet the day before. To get a creamy consistency, stir the sorbet regularly while freezing, and get it out of the cooler 10 minutes before serving. If you have a high performance mixer, you can spare the stirring and thawing. Just give pieces of the ice cream in the mixer and blend until creamy.
To prepare the risotto, wash the pearl barley and let it drain. Crush the fennel seeds in a mortar and roughly chop the dried porcini. Boil the vegetable broth and keep it warm. Finely dice the shallot and sweat with a bit of hazelnut oil. Add the pearl barley and the fennel seeds and roast at medium heat for about 5 minutes. Deglaze with white wine and fill up with vegetable broth until the pearl barley is covered. Add the dried porcini. Gradually add the hazelnut milk and remaining broth und let it simmer for 25 minutes while stirring regularly. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, clean the fresh porcini and cut into thick slices. Finely chop the shallot. Shortly before the risotto is ready, heat hazelnut oil in a pan and roast the mushrooms with the shallot and thyme until the porcini are a golden brown. At the end, season with salt and pepper.
Thinly slice a handful hazelnuts and spread together with rocket salad over the risotto and porcini. Add the tomato ice cream, and our late summer risotto is ready.