Growing up, I was the slowest eater.
I would take hours. I would sit there, take a bite, ponder about random things, kick my feet, open up the drawers around me for the 100th time and peer inside, and then a few minutes later I’d take another bite. I even recall falling asleep once with a mouthful of food. And then there were the times that my brother would be setting up for dinner and would have to work around me because I literally was still at the table trying to finish my lunch.
Hours, I’m telling you!
My parents were also not the type of parents who would let me eat what I wanted off my plate and scamper off. I would hear the lectures about kids around the world not having enough to eat – and rightfully so, as my dad grew up in a third world country – so I would have to sit there until I finished every single thing off my plate.
Ironically, these days I have to remind myself not to scarf down my food. And I consider my record burrito-eating time a notch on my belt!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 5 cups (40 ounces) chicken broth, divided
- 1½ cups brown arborio/short-grain brown rice
- 12 to 14 ounces sliced Cremini (baby portobello) mushrooms, debris rinsed from mushrooms and drained
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup dry white wine, optional
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- 2 teaspoons tamari (for extra flavor, optional)*
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Make sure your oven rack is in the middle position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes, then add the minced garlic. Cook for another 2 to 4 minutes, until the onions are well browned.
- Add 4 cups broth, cover, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and stir in the rice. Cover the pot and bake until rice is tender and cooked through, about 65 to 70 minutes. It will seem pretty dry when you take off the lid, but don't worry!
- During the last 20 minutes of baking time, prepare the mushrooms. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add the cleaned, sliced mushrooms to the pot with a dash of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are darker in color, fragrant and have soaked up most of their own juices, about 13 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the oven. Pour in the remaining cup of broth, the Parmesan, wine, butter, tamari, salt, and a generous amount of pepper. Stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Stir in the mushroom mixture and any remaining juices. Season to taste with salt and pepper, divide into bowls and top with a generous sprinkling of torn, fresh oregano leaves.