Meatless Monday – Portabellini and veg Risotto with poached eggs

Making risotto shouldn’t be intimidating – if you can stir it, you can make it! This is a rich, creamy and loaded with veggies dish, sure to warm up the tummy.

4 JULY - MEATLESS MONDAY – Portabellini and veg Risotto with poached eggs

Serves 6 

You’ll need: 2 litres vegetable stock, kept warm on the stove; 2 Tbsp butter; 500 g portabellini mushrooms, sliced; 2 Tbsp olive oil; 2 shallots, finely diced; 2 large leeks, whites and pale greens only, chopped; 4 garlic cloves, finely grated; 2 cups arborio rice; 1 cup dry white wine; 200 g runner beans (or similar), cut into 2cm pieces; 200 g asparagus, cut into 2cm pieces; 2 Tbsp sour cream; 1 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving; 1/4 cup Italian parsley, stalks removed, for serving; 6 large eggs; salt and pepper, to taste

How to: 

Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, often stirring, until tender and golden brown. Season. Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

Heat oil and remaining 1 Tbsp butter in the same pot over medium heat. Add shallots, leeks, and garlic. Cook until vegetables are softened. Add rice and stir to coat and get slightly toasty. Add wine and reduce until fully absorbed. Add about one ladle of stock. Stir until stock is almost absorbed. Add remaining stock one ladle at a time, stirring almost constantly, allowing it to be absorbed before adding more. When rice is nearly cooked add asparagus and beans and cook until tender. Cook rice until tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is very creamy about 20 minutes.

Finally add sour cream, Parmesan and reserved mushrooms to the risotto. Stir well and then cover the pot with a lid. This is where the magic happens, the Parmesan melts, and everything gets saucy and gooey.

A few minutes before risotto is done:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. Swirl the water with a slotted spoon to create a vortex. Crack 1 egg into a small teacup, then slide into simmering water. Cook until whites are fully cooked but yolks remain runny for about 2.5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer the poached egg to a plate and repeat with the remaining 5.

Check to season and then serve the risotto in warm bowls and top with eggs. Season the eggs well and scatter the dishes with fresh parsley.

* Recipe & image by The South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association.