False morels are quite a rare delicacy unless you happen to know a good spot. I have never actually checked the supply at the marketplaces and stores since we are fortunate enough to pick our own straight from the woods.
Early in the summer every year my husband visits his friend in Puumala – after the clear-cutting in the terrain around the cabin there you have the perfect place for false morels to grow. The spring before last we got many buckets of morels, but this year the logging areas have become too overgrown and our spots are vanishing little by little.
Everyone knows that false morels are poisonous so preparation is important. Mushrooms are parboiled in order to remove the poisons, meaning they are boiled in generous amounts of water for 10 minutes, the water is then changed and the mushrooms are boiled for another 10 minutes. After this they are safe to enjoy in many different ways. This time they are being used in a risotto side dish.
When using risotto as side dish Arborio rice is the choice to go with. Risottos become really tasty after only a few added ingredients, but the cooking time is pretty long though – the estimated time on the side of the package isn’t enough at all, it takes about 30-35 minutes to be done.
Making a good risotto requires all of your attention for about 30 minutes. You need two hands to make it, one stirs the rice while the other adds water in small amounts, no more than half a decilitre at a time. Most of the risotto recipes which include arborio rice recommend adding the water ladle by ladle, but I’m nowhere near patient enough for that, and my risottos have still turned out well. Making other dishes at the same time can be the end of the whole risotto, but fortunately for me there are helping hands around to take care of the risotto while I make other parts of the meal.
Using the same recipe you can prepare this risotto with any other mushroom as well. In the photo below there is a chanterelle risotto and the only difference when it comes to making it is that it contains a different kind of mushroom. Chanterelles, boletes, tooth funguses, sheep polypores, funnel chanterelles and many others need no preparation at all: Slice, cook, spice and eat!