Pine mushroom risotto is one of those seasonal meals I really look forward to. And it’s one that can only be enjoyed for a few short months in Autumn each year. There’s nothing quite like joining in a group of foragers to bring home your mushroom haul. It’s hands down one of my favourite yearly rituals. I love spending time in the peace and quiet of the pine forest taking in that fresh mountain air too.
There are two varieties of wild mushroom generally found on a forage in Sydney. These include:
- Saffron milk cap mushrooms (also known as Pine mushrooms or Lactarius deliciosus). These are the large pink mushrooms in the picture below, and;
- Slippery Jack mushrooms (Suillus luteus). The small brown one that is the token Slippery Jack that made it into my basket. They’re much harder to identify!
Pine mushroom health benefits
Nature can be so clever, can’t it? Autumn is a time we find ourselves coming down with seasonal colds or a flu as a result of the change in weather. It’s also the season that the wild mushrooms first start to appear, which is perfect timing. Why?
Mushrooms are well-known for their immune balancing and anti-inflammatory properties. Many, including the saffron milk caps, are also known for their antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Additionally, all wild mushrooms tend to be higher in protein and are a wonderful source of antioxidants to boot (1–2–3).
Then there is the abundance of nutrients they contain like fibre, potassium, selenium, vitamin D as well as some B vitamins (1). So many reasons to go and join a forage so you can take home your own. If that’s really not your thing though – you can find a few at local fruit and veg stores along with your local Harris Farm when in season.
Top tips for making risotto
I’ve heard many times from people that they find risotto difficult to make. I felt that way for a while too. However, with a bit of trial and error I’ve got it down to an art form! If you feel like you need a bit of extra help you will find a list of my top 6 tips in my beetroot, goats cheese and spinach risotto recipe.
I hope you enjoy this pine mushroom risotto! And if you’ve been out foraging this year let me know all about your haul in the comments. I love chatting to other foragers!
Pine mushroom risotto
- Large pot (I used my Le Crueset casserole)
- 500 g saffron milk cap mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 25 g butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil, (or 2.5 Tbsp if omitting butter)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 1.5 cups arborio rice, (this was 300g for me), rinsed really well
- 100 ml dry white wine
- 5.5 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 60 g goats cheese (optional)
- Big handful of thyme, leaves only, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste, (be generous)
- Put the vegetable stock on the stove to start heating through. You want it hot, just simmering but not boiling
- Melt the butter and 1 tsp of the olive oil in a frypan over medium/high heat until the butter foams (use 1.5 Tbsp of oil if not using butter)
- Add the mushrooms, season with a little salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes until the colour is deep and golden. If your frypan isn’t big enough to take them all in one batch without crowding them, cook them in two lots with half the butter and oil in each. Set aside the mushrooms once cooked
- Heat a heavy-based saucepan (I used my Le Creuset pot) over a medium heat and add the remaining oil. Once it has heated through, add the onion and garlic. Fry for 5-6 minutes or until softened and translucent
- Add the rice and stir through for a minute or two until it is coated with the oil and becomes shiny
- Add the wine and stir until completely absorbed then add a ladle of the warmed stock and stir occasionally until fully absorbed
- Keep adding the stock one ladle at a time and stirring occasionally until each is absorbed to ensure the rice cooks through evenly
- Once all the stock has been used and the rice is cooked, season with salt and pepper then stir through the baby spinach. Once this has wilted, stir through the thyme and cooked mushrooms to reheat then add the goats cheese if using just before serving
- Serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil and a green salad.
- If you have monster-sized mushrooms cut them into bite-sized slices as you chop them up
- * I have used an Australian Tbsp, which is 20ml
- Please note – Saffron milk cap mushrooms can produce slightly pink urine so don’t panic if you see that occur! It’s likely to happen a couple of hours after eating them and perhaps the next day.
- Valverde, M, Hernández-Pérez, T and Paredes-López, O 2015, ‘Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life‘
- Onbasili, D , Yuvali Çelik, G, Katircioglu, H and, Narin, I, 2015, ‘Antimicrobial, Antioxidant Activities and Chemical Composition of Lactarius deliciosus (L.) Collected from Kastamonu Province of Turkey’
- Tungmunnithum, D, Thongboonyou, A, Pholboon, A and Yangsabai, A, 2018, ‘Flavonoids and Other Phenolic Compounds from Medicinal Plants for Pharmaceutical and Medical Aspects: An Overview’