"Rice is the best, the most nutritive, and unquestionably, the most widespread staple in the world,” said renowned French chef Auguste Escoffier. Indeed, we eat it all day: for breakfast, for lunch, and for dinner, even dessert, so few meals in a Pinoy home is without this staple.

Our preference for healthier eating has driven white and polished rice from the table, making brown, red, black, and other wild rice varieties more mainstream. Join this growing revolution toward healthier eating and cook up this delicious risotto using an organic variety of brown rice for a healthy dish to serve with your family’s favorite ulam.

Organic Brown Rice Risotto with Mushrooms
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Makes four servings

For the risotto:
45 grams onions, peeled and chopped
125 grams fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
10 grams dried morels, soaked in 1 1/4 cups water to soften, then sliced; reserve soaking liquid
3 tablespoons olive oil
240 grams organic long-grain brown rice, washed and drained
3 to 4 cups vegetable stock

For the garnish:
30 grams arugula leaves
30 grams porcini, grilled and sliced
85 grams white button mushrooms, left raw and sliced
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Sauté onions, shiitake, and morels in olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Add rice and sauté for a few seconds, mixing ingredients well.
3. Slowly add 3/8 cup vegetable stock and about 1 cup morel soaking liquid and simmer until stock is absorbed. Add another 3/8 cup vegetable stock and simmer. Repeat until rice is fully cooked, but still has a little bite. This will take around 20 minutes.
4. Serve risotto garnished with arugula leaves and mushrooms. Drizzle with olive oil and serve immediately.

(Photo by Ocs Alvarez. Recipe reprinted with permission from Flavours, available at The Peninsula Manila Newsstand for P3,000. You may also order the book online through peninsulaboutique.com and marshallcavendish.com.)

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