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Wild Morel Risotto with Garlic Mustard Pesto & Violets

Last week we harvested the elusive and fleeting morel mushroom! Just one big one that we found right in our yard, but that was enough for this very special risotto. Our 12-year-old mycologist was very excited to find one of his favorites growing right on the new property!


For the risotto:

  • 3 Tablespoons oil or butter, 1 reserved for frying the mushroom

  • 1.5 cups arborio rice

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 3 cups broth (mushroom or chicken)

  • 1/2 onion, diced

  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 large morel mushroom or several smaller ones

  • salt to taste

For the Pesto:

  • 2 cups packed wild garlic mustard greens (or other wild, edible greens like chickweed, stinging nettle, violet or a mix! Reserve some flowers for garnish)

  • Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon

  • 1-2 cloves garlic

  • Small handful of pine nuts, walnuts, or cashews

  • A couple tablespoons of grated parmesan, pecorino, or asiago

  • Salt to taste


  1. Warm 2 Tbsp oil or butter in a heavy-bottomed pan, then adding onion and cook until translucent

  2. Add arborio rice and cook until starting to turn translucent and smelling a little toasty (do not burn onion or rice)

  3. Add garlic and stir for a minute until fragrant but do not burn!

  4. Add white wine and stir until absorbed

  5. Add 1/2 cup broth and stir

  6. Now set a timer for 20 minutes. You are going to leave leave the risotto alone to absorb the broth, keep an eye on it so it doesn't start sticking to the bottom of the pan, stir occasionally and keep adding broth by 1/2 cup as it is absorbed

  7. During this time you can make the pesto (but don't forget about the risotto!)

  8. Make the pesto by combining all ingredients in a food processor and blending until puréed. Taste and adjust salt/lemon/parm as needed

  9. Slice and fry the morels in a little butter in a separate small cast iron or sauté pan

  10. When the risotto is done cooking, taste it and adjust seasonings, if you like you can add a little parmesan to the creamy risotto

  11. Spoon risotto into a serving dish and top with morels, a big dollop of pesto, and a garnish of garlic mustard flowers and wild violets, pretty!


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