I chose his recipe by J. Kenji López-Alt I found on Serious Eats as it had an interesting take on how to cook risotto: it adds the stock in 2 batches instead of a ladle at the time.
First you toast the risotto rice and add about 800ml of stock and cook it on very low heat for about 20 minutes (lid on the pan and only stirring once half way) and then adding about 200ml stock and finish it on high heat stirring continuously to get it a creamy consistency. An added bonus is that while the risotto is cooking away, you have some time on your hands to sauté the mushrooms (and spinach as I had some leftover from the bag) instead of having to rush it in between adding a ladle of stock to the risotto.
What worked and what didn’t:
The overall tarragon / spinach / mushroom combination is really nice and the pureed blanched greens gave the dish a vibrant color. Although not getting the same creamy consistency as adding the stock a ladle at the time, the risotto was cooked evenly and it seemed to be done more quickly than the traditional method. To make it more creamy you can always add some butter and/or a splash of cream and/or some grated parmesan at the end, so I am quite pleased with this new way of cooking risotto. Furthermore, the addition of some stock, lemon juice and soy sauce to the sautéed mushrooms is really good as it gives a nice jus.
The recipe was generally easy to follow, but you do need to read it carefully to get the correct measures of stock throughout the recipe.
Likely do to the fact that the recipe is vegan, it did not contain white wine and parmesan cheese, which, to me, are essential to a good risotto dish. Therefore, I substituted about 200ml of stock for 150ml of dry white wine (adding it to the toasted risotto) and added about 15g of butter and 30g of grated parmesan at the end.
Verdict: 8/10; The way to cook risotto; will definitely be used again.