Pennsylvania Wild Mushroom and Herb Risotto

Menu Part: 
Cuisine Type: 
Four servings

Typically more of an indulgent dish, this healthy spin on creamy risotto omits butter and heavy cream, “transforming traditional risotto into a healthful accompaniment as a side dish,” according to Executive Chef Cameron Clegg. Any combination of mushrooms can be used to build the dish, and at Highmark, “we substituted short-grain brown rice for the more traditional arborio rice. It takes a little longer to cook, but the nutritional benefit is worth the wait,” Clegg says. “Adding fresh peas or asparagus [will also] make this entrée a great meal.”


1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped
16 oz. Pennsylvania wild mushrooms (portobello, oyster, cremini, shiitake)
2 cups short-grain brown rice
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1⁄3 cup dry white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest
1 cup small diced roasted red pepper
1 cup freshly chopped herbs
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (for garnish)


  1. Coat medium-sized skillet with cooking spray. Combine carrot, shallot and half the mushrooms and sauté until heated through.
  2. Add rice, then chicken stock. Add water and wine; stir to combine. Cover and cook on low heat until rice is tender and risotto is thick and creamy, about 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. In small skillet, sauté remaining mushrooms with garlic.
  4. Mix half the sautéed mushrooms, Parmesan, lemon zest and roasted red pepper into risotto. (If risotto is dry, add little wine or water.)
  5. Serve sprinkled with remaining sautéed mushrooms, chopped herbs, pepper and Parmesan cheese.
Source: Highmark, Parkhurst Dining, Pittsburgh

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