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May FLAVORS: Mushroom Risotto

May 16, 2018 | Annie Salness Artist | No Comments | Blog, calendar, Recipes

For my 2018 calendar, I invited art friends and colleagues to contribute their favorite FLAVOR combination, along with a recipe and a story. I received 12 great combos and I used the ingredients for my inspiration. This month was Steve and David’s Mushroom Risotto.

Mushroom Risotto, 12x12x1, acrylic on cradled panel

Here’s the original still life I set up. I thought this blue was a perfect complement to the earthy brown mushrooms and the brown background. When I tried to display the mushrooms on their own, they were boring. I had to do something else. It occurred to me to put them in a glass. And voila! So much color and texture just by adding the glass. I used the glass in more paintings for this year’s calendar and I wrote a blog about it.

This month’s recipe and flavor combo comes from Steve Zeiden and David Castle. I met David through Alyson Stanfield (Art Biz Coach) when he was moving out here, and I’m so grateful she introduced us. I am glad to be friends with this warm and wonderful couple. And who doesn’t love the comforting quality of a good risotto dish? Thanks for sharing the delicious recipe!

Here’s their Mushroom Risotto recipe:

I love risotto since it’s naturally gluten-free and I’m celiac. And these flavors come together so well in this Martha Stewart recipe. David’s a fantastic cook and makes great risotto so it always makes my tummy and heart happy. It’s a great comfort food for chilly days! —Steve Zeiden


2 T. butter

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

10 oz. button mushrooms, quartered

Salt and pepper

1 c. Arborio or long-grain rice

1 can (14.5 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken broth

3 garlic cloves, sliced

1/4 c. grated Parmesan

In a deep, 9-inch microwave-safe dish with a tight lid, combine butter and thyme. Microwave until butter has melted and thyme is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper. Microwave until mushrooms release liquid, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plate.

In the same dish, combine rice, broth, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover, and microwave 9 minutes. Stir in 2 c. water, and microwave until rice is tender, 9 minutes more. Stir in mushroom mixture; microwave until heated, about 2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan. (Add water as needed.)

Calendar Contributor Spotlight

Take a look at the gifted David in his studio and find more samples of his work here. He was accepted to the Arctic Circle 2018 Autumn Arts & Sciences Expedition that’s taking place in October 2018.  He’s currently gearing up for this amazing journey, during which he’ll spend three weeks painting abstracts on a ship sailing well north of Norway. You can follow along with him on his blog—I’ll definitely be vicariously enjoying his chilly adventures!

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