When we demoed this at the US Botanic garden in mid-October, the nutty, fall-like flavors won over a crowd of visitors from all over the world. One group of yellow T-shirted students lined up a dozen deep to get samples. This is kid-friendly food at its best because it’s also so appealing to adults.
½ pound shiitake, cremini or white mushrooms (or a combination), roughly chopped
1 large (or 2 medium) shallots, peeled and minced
2 T olive oil, divided
2 C long-grain white rice (or substitute your favorite rice)
4 C vegetable or mushroom broth
1 T fresh thyme, chopped
2 C (loosely packed) chopped arugula or watercress, or ½ C chopped fresh parsley
½ C pine nuts, lighted toasted
Salt and pepper to taste
White Truffle Oil—for garnish
Measure out the vegetable or mushroom broth into a 2-quart sauce pan and heat to a simmer. In a deep sauté pan, heat 1 T of the olive oil and add the chopped mushrooms. Stir well to coat in the oil and sauté until the mushrooms begin to release liquid. Remove from the pan and set aside. In the same sauté pan, add 1 T of olive oil and the shallots and thyme, cook a minute or two until fragrant. Add the rice, spreading out in the pan and stirring to coat in the oil. Cook another minute or two, then carefully pour the hot broth over the rice. Stir well, cover and lower the heat and continue to simmer very low until rice is cooked through, about 20 minutes. (You can substitute brown rice, which will take longer to cook.)
When the rice is cooked, add the sautéed mushrooms, pine nuts and arugula or watercress; adjust for salt and pepper. Just before serving, drizzle with white truffle oil. Serves 6-8.