1 1/2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms
8 cups chicken broth
4 garlic cloves, peeled, minced and divided
1 cup chopped onion, divided
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Pinch thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Rehydrate the dried mushrooms in 2 cups hot water for 1 hour. Remove mushrooms from soaking water, reserving water. Coarsely chop mushrooms and pour water through a coffee filter. Combine filtered soaking water and the chicken broth; bring liquid to a simmer.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine chopped mushrooms, 2 of the garlic cloves, 1/2 cup of the onion, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the thyme in an oven-proof dish. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove dish and cover with foil to keep hot.

While mushroom mixture cooks, start risotto. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, sweat remaining onion in remaining olive oil for 2 minutes. Add the rice and let cook for 3 minutes, stirring continuously with a flat wooden spoon. Add the wine and remaining garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper, continuing to stir for another 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium.

Begin adding simmering broth 1/2 cup at a time, every 2 minutes or as liquid is almost all absorbed, stirring continuously. When all broth has been absorbed, fold in mushroom mixture, the cream and Parmesan cheese; stir. Taste and adjust seasonings; risotto should be creamy but not mushy.

Makes 4 servings.

— Recipe courtesy of Mushrooms All Year, www.mushroomsallyear.com