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Fiddlehead and Chanterelle Risotto

Cover of Vegetable Love

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup finely minced shallots (about 3 ounces)

5 cups chanterelles (about 1 1/4 pounds), trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)

3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh tarragon

1/2 cup olive oil

1 pound (2 cups) arborio or Ambra rice

1 cup leftover dry Champagne or other medium-acid white wine

6 cups Enriched Chicken Stock, heated

1 1/2 cups peas (from about 1 1/4 pounds peas in the pod)

2 cups (about 5 ounces) trimmed fiddlehead ferns

1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Flowers from about 12 chives

Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until translucent, for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and stir until well coated with butter. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Add the tarragon and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. The mushrooms should be reduced to about 2 cups. Set aside.

In a heavy 12-inch casserole, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring fairly constantly, until all the grains have become opaque -- white if using arborio. Pour in the Champagne or wine. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is almost evaporated. Add 1 cup of the stock and cook, stirring, until almost absorbed. Continue to add the stock in 1-cup amounts, stirring and letting the rice absorb the liquid each time. After 4 cups have been added, stir in the peas, then add another cup of stock and the chanterelle mixture. When the liquid is almost absorbed, add the Parmesan, salt and pepper. Serve from the pan or transfer to serving dishes. Sprinkle with the chive flowers.

Makes about 12 cups; serves 8 as a main course.

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