Mushrooms and Fungal Growths

Although I do not think of myself as a picky eater, the husband thinks I am.  There are things I’d prefer not to eat, but still do if served to me…and then there is that One Thing I try to avoid and definitely not eat if I can help it:  Mushrooms.  The husband loves all things earthy, so mushrooms are right up his alley.  I, however, can’t stomach the thought {literally and figuratively} of eating something defined as a “fungal growth”.  Check it out.  That’s what your dictionary calls those little things growing on the underside of decaying woodland logs and germinating in the dark, damp rural outback.

From a nutrition standpoint, I understand why those following a plant-based lifestyle would seek mushrooms out as “little gems” to add to their diet–they have B Vitamins and is the only item you’ll find along the produce aisle with its own store of Vitamin D.  Thepowerofmushrooms has a pretty great write-up, if you are interested in learning more nutritional facts and benefits about these little beasts.

Despite the nutrition, and fully due to being a fungus, I have no qualms passing up the little white buttons in the grocery store.  I will make an ingredient exception, however, when I come across a “gourmet fungus” I know the hubs would enjoy for dinner.  {Usually when I want to get something out of him…Oh man, now he knows my secret…}

So when I found a small box of golden Chantrelles, known for their beautiful hue and fruity and peppery flavor, I knew risotto was on the menu.  Mushrooms don’t require much in the way of cleaning–just get a damp paper towel and brush off the extra dirt.  Coming from its own habitat, any dirt left on there is clean dirt, right?  Give them a rough chop, sauté with onions, add the rice, and gently cook to make a silky and earthy mushroom risotto.  I even got the hubs to eat a side of broccolini with this dish.

{And what did I get out of it, you ask?  A Clearance Williams-Sonoma shopping spree}

mushroom risotto 1

mushroom risotto 2


  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: fairly easy
  • Print


  • 1 cup chantrelles, gently cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 4-6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese {or nutritional yeast, to keep it vegan}
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Coat a medium-sized pot with olive oil and heat over medium.  Add the mushrooms and onion and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and continue to sauté until the mushrooms are soft-tender, about another 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the rice, stirring to coat, and add enough stock to just cover the rice.  Let come to a soft boil then reduce the heat to low.  Simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, and add more stock to just cover the rice.  Continue this adding-stock-and-simmering process until the rice is soft and comes together as a thickened mixture.
  3. Off heat, stir in the parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast and divide evenly among the serving bowls.  Garnish with toasted, chopped walnuts and parsley.



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