As soon as fall arrives I start thinking about risotto. Sure, there are nice summery versions, like the one packed with seafood I recently enjoyed at Fresco Steak & Seafood Grill in Milltown.
But for me, the “king” of risottos is the one made with mushrooms – porcini, or a blend of wild mushrooms. I made the one at left a couple of weeks ago.
I buy dried porcini whenever I see good ones, which to me means pale, intact slices, not a bunch of dark, broken up bits. And I love the mixed dried wild mushrooms from D’Artagnan sold at Griggstown Quail Farm Market.
Fall is also truffle season, and when I enjoyed a belated birthday dinner at Eno Terra last week, my friend and I were treated to little crisp-fried arancini (risotto balls, lower left), split in half, with some shaved fresh black truffle over it. The server told us that right now (during the seaon) you could add shaved black or white truffle to the dish of your choice from the menu, for around $30 I believe, maybe more for white.
This definitely took me back to Italy. I made sure to visit Tuscany during the white truffle harvest season, and will never forget the truffles being paraded around the dining rooms. I celebrated a Big Birthday over there, with a lunch of fresh buttered fettucini with showers of white truffle. Heaven!