Camp Cook: How to make spinach and mushroom risotto

There’s no getting away from this one, this is not the ideal wild camp option. You need to be able to simmer the rice for around 20 – 25 minutes, and it needs a lot of water. However, if you’re camped somewhere where you can filter water easily and you don’t mind lugging a full gas cylinder up, this is a delicious meal that is easy to make and very filling. Ideal for keeping warm on cold nights.

Ingredients

  1. Risotto rice, around 60g per person.
  2. Mushrooms, whichever you particularly enjoy will work. If you are going for chestnut mushrooms I’d recommend 4 sliced mushrooms per person, but add more if you prefer.
  3. Half an onion, diced. One clove of garlic thinly sliced. If you are wild camping do this at home, put them together in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid and add oil directly to them so you don’t have to separately carry oil.
  4. A handful of spinach per person.
  5. Vegetable stock cube, or you can use one of the ‘stock pot’ vegetable stocks.
  6. Lemon (if you are making this in a campsite).
  7. Grated parmesan.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.

Method

  1. Heat the pan, and add the oiled onions and garlic. Sweat down for a few minutes, but don’t let them colour.
  2. Add the rice and stir until all the grains are covered in oil. Then pour in some water until the rice is covered. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the vegetable stock cube, and then keep stirring the rice, adding more water as it absorbs it. Do not let it dry out. It should look something like this:

4. After you’ve cooked the rice for around 12 – 15 minutes, continually adding water as it is absorbed, add the mushrooms. Keep stirring and adding the water.

5. If you are in a campsite, give the mushrooms a couple of minutes then add a squeeze of lemon juice. If you are wild camping you can omit this step, unless you particularly want to carry a lemon up the hill!

6. After around 20 minutes, check the rice is cooked by taking some onto a spoon and feeling it with your finger. It should be soft but not mushy. If it is, add the spinach and keep stirring. The spinach just needs to wilt, you don’t need to cook it for long. Once wilted, switch the gas off, put a lid on the pot and leave it for 3 or 4 minutes. It should end up looking like this (note I added some black olives to this as a variation):

7. Transfer to a bowl and add some grated parmesan (grate it before you go if you are wild camping). Enjoy!

If you make this recipe I’d love to hear what you think! Please leave a comment below.

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