White Lentil Risotto

Recipe By:  Sarah Britton
risotto

Ingredients
  •  1½ cups white lentils, soaked for 8 to 12 hours, if possible
  • 2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely diced
  • 
½ tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 
2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 rind Pecorino Romano, optional but delicious (a parmesan rind also works)
  • Generous grating of Pecorino Romano to garnish (optional but delicious)
  • 
4 to 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 lb. mixed mushrooms, cleaned of all dirt and debris, and roughly chopped (I chose golden and trumpet chanterelles, and oyster mushrooms, but any type work)
  • A few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed, plus a few for garnish
  • 2 to 3 tbsp ghee, butter, or coconut oil
  • Couple pinches sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 
2 tsp balsamic vinegar, optional
Directions Yield:  Serves 4
  1. Wash lentils well, drain and rinse until water runs clear. Set aside.
  2. Melt ghee in a large stock pot. Add onions, salt and stir to coat. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the onions are softened and just starting to caramelize – don’t brown them too much or they will colour the dish! Add garlic, the lentils, 3 cups vegetable broth and the cheese rind, if using. Stir well and make sure that the broth is covering the lentils by at least half an inch. If not, add more. Bring to a simmer, stir and cover.
  3. Over the next 30 minutes or so (cook time depends on whether or not you soaked the lentils), stir the pot every few minutes (this helps release the starch and add creaminess) and check the broth level, adding more as needed to just cover the lentils.
  4. After about 20 minutes, start to prepare the mushrooms. Melt the ghee in a large skillet and add the mushrooms. Stir to coat and let them cook over high heat without touching them for at least three or four minutes. Flip and repeat until golden on all sides. Add a touch more ghee, garlic, thyme leaves and to the pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant, season with salt and pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar, if desired.
  5. The lentils are done when they are tender but not mushy. The consistency of the dish should be very much like a classic risotto: more solid than a soup, but thinner than a stew, so make sure that there is enough stock in the pot. Remove cheese rind. Divide between plates, garnish with cheese and black pepper, place mushrooms on top and garnish with a sprig of thyme and more black pepper.

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Photographer:
Courtesy of Sarah Britton
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