January 18, 2012

Slow Cooker Week: Mushroom Sage Risotto {Naptime Everyday}

Mushroom Risotto

What’s Going on Today: Busy Monday at home, in full swing with winter activities.

Naptime Goals: Set-up risotto to cook, catch-up on phone calls and finish up weekend laundry.

Tonight’s Menu: Mushroom-Sage Slow Cooker Risotto, steamed green beans, white wine.

Slow Cooker Challenge Week!: Don’t forget it is Naptime Chef & Small Kitchen College Sl0w Cooker Challenge week. Come over to see our amazing sponsors and for your chance to win a brand-new slow cooker!

Don’t forget that today from 12pm – 1pm, we’ll be hosting a live twitter chat along with Food52, The Daily Meal, Fine Cooking, Punchfork, Foodily, OXO Good Grips and more. We’ll be using hash tag #slowcooker. Tune in to talk all things slow cookin’! During the Twitter event and throughout the day we’ll be offering the first giveaway of amazing OXO tools that are essential for slow-cooking valued at over $150!

Next up on my list of Slow Cooker Challenge dishes to try was a grain-based dish. Given my love of baking risotto I had to wonder, could it be slow-cooked? The principal of the dish, rice slowly absorbing moisture and flavors, seemed to lend itself perfectly to the idea. I also thought this might be true of polenta and couscous, but risotto is one of our favorite meals and felt like the right place to start on a busy Monday afternoon. Plus, I had suggested risotto to my husband as he walked out the door that morning and he smiled so wide so I knew my experiment would be right up his alley.

Pulling this all together while my daughter was at school was a total cinch. I keep a huge bulk package of Arborio rice on hand so I can make risotto nearly anytime we want. With a package of mushrooms in the fridge and our omnipresent herb pot still thriving in the downstairs bay window, I also had plenty of fresh sage at the ready. I flavored the risotto the way I would’ve on the stovetop by adding very finely chopped onions and garlic.  To assemble everything in the slow cooker I stirred together the rice, olive oil, onions, garlic, mushrooms and sage like I would’ve on the stovetop, only without heat. Then I poured in the white wine and chicken broth and set it to cook on high for two and a half hours.

Once the risotto had finished cooking I stirred in the cheese and left the slow cooker on warm until we were ready to serve it. We couldn’t believe how evenly cooked the rice was, it was perfectly tender at each bite, but without being too soft. The mushrooms and sage had infused the whole bowl with a terrific earthy umami taste we adored. The only thing I noticed was that the onions were still slightly crunchy so for those who don’t want any crunch, I recommend use dried onion flakes instead. We didn’t mind it though, we actually liked the variety of textures. I plan on experimenting with this risotto technique many more times in the future. While the stovetop technique enables more control over the cooking, the slow-cooking method is incredibly convenient, and delicious!


Entry Requirements to Win a Breville Slow Cooker:

1. Visit this Slow Cooker Challenge post to read the simple requirements for entering the contest.

Disclosure: This gift was generously donated by the kind people at BigKitchen.com.


 Slow Cooker Mushroom Sage Risotto


1 ½ cups uncooked Arborio rice
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup white wine
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped OR 2 teaspoons onion flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup cremini mushrooms, finely sliced
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2/3 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese


1. In a small bowl mix together the rice, olive oil, garlic, onion, sage and mushrooms. Then pour it all into the slow-cooker. Pour in the broth and white wine and cook it on high for 2 and ½ hours.

2. Once the risotto is finished cooking stir in the Parmesan cheese and leave uncovered.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This risotto has a dense consistency and is very creamy. Serve it alongside a lighter meat or vegetable since this will be the heaviest part of the meal.

Naptime Stopwatch

5 minutes prep time, 2 ½ hours cook time

Naptime Reviews

This got great reviews at the end of the day!

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