A risotto is not a French-born dish, but the French are in fact very fond of it. It’s funny to think that there has always been a certain rivalry between the Italians and the French, and on many different levels: architecture, literature, fashion, politics, mentalities … But when it comes to food, I have felt the French have always fully acknowledge the authority of Italian cuisine, and happily embrace Italian influences in their own plates.
Risotto, just like pasta or pizza, is a French home-cook’s favorite and you’ll find it served in many restaurants across France, with cooks often putting their own French twist on it.
I love a simple rice risotto. But I might love a buckwheat risotto even more – especially in the Fall. The use of buckwheat groats (so dear to Brittany, my home) instead of rice, brings amazing nutty notes and an even greater satisfying factor to this dish, in my opinion. And one of my favorite ways to dress up a risotto is with a “Forestière sauce”, a typically French sauce made of mixed mushrooms and crème fraiche, all perfectly suited for Fall.
- Note that a classic French “Forestière sauce” usually include more crème fraiche. I chose to cut down on the amount of crème fraiche to have a lighter sauce, and let the creaminess of the risotto shine more.
- The combination of shitake, oyster, cremini mushrooms work great for a Forestière sauce; but you can opt for different mushrooms if you wish or stick to only one kind (ie. only cremini).
- I used sage to compliment the dish, but other herbs such as parsley (flat-leaf or curly) or chives will work very well too.
- For the making of the risotto, always prefer a dry white wine.
4 tbsp (60g) butter
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and diced
5 sages leaves, chopped
5 cups (375g) mixed mushrooms (shitake, oyster, cremini), washed and sliced
2 tbsp (30g) crème fraiche
1 1/3 cup (250g) buckwheat groats (kasha)
1 cup (250ml) white wine
2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
½ tsp ground black pepper
Parseman, for topping
Make the sauce. Melt 2 tablespoons (30g) of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the onions, garlic, mushrooms and sage for about 10 minutes (until the mushrooms are fully cooked through). Stir in the crème fraiche and set aside. Cover with foil to keep warm.
Make the risotto. Melt 2 tablespoons (30g) of butter in another large frying pan over medium heat. Add the buckwheat groats and toast them for 2 minutes. Pour in the white wine, bring to a simmer and let evaporate for about 5 minutes (until half of the liquid is left). Slowly pour in the stock while stirring, in small additions, until the buckwheat is fully cooked (about 25 minutes).
For serving, scoop the risotto onto each plate and top with the mushroom sauce. Top with some shaved Parmesan and one or two leaves of sage for decoration. Season to taste.
If you try this Buckwheat Risotto with Mushroom Forestière Sauce recipe, let me know! Leave a comment or share a photo using #pardonyourfrench on Instagram.
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