Çintar Mushroom Risotto Recipe

It’s that time of year again; the days are shorter and cooler, there’s a dampness to the cold night air…and the beautiful çintar mushrooms sprout beneath the pine trees of Fethiye. As you are no doubt aware by now, we enjoy our Turkish seasonal produce and the çintar mushroom season is one we particularly look forward to. Perhaps it’s because the season is really short so we feel the need to dive straight in there and snap up as many as we can. Or, maybe it’s just simply because this mushroom is downright delicious!

Çintar mushrooms on Çalış Market

Çintar mushrooms on Çalış Market last December

We’ve mentioned before that çintar (aka Saffron Milk Cap Mushrooms) are really tasty, eaten with scrambled egg. They are! This year however, we’re trying to add a bit of variation to our mushroom diet. After I did the spinach and cheese börek recipe last week, we still had some spinach left over so Barry decided to produce Çintar Mushroom and Spinach Risotto. Risotto is perfect this time of year; oozy and comforting and these seasonal mushrooms fitted the dish perfectly.

The traditional rice for making risotto is arborio rice. You can buy it from supermarkets in Fethiye but it’s expensive compared to local rice and to be honest, Turkish rice is just as starchy. We always use Turkish rice and the results are perfectly acceptable.

Çintar Mushroom Risotto

Mmm – meaty but meat-free risotto

Many people are put off making risotto because you have to stand over it and tend to it constantly. But, it’s not difficult and it’s worth a little attention just for the final results. We love risotto! This recipe makes two decent-sized portions.

  • First of all, in a pan, bring around 1.5 litres of stock (chicken or veg) to the boil and leave to simmer.
  • In a separate pan, melt a knob of butter, add a chopped onion and fry gently for a couple of minutes.
  • Next, throw in some chopped chillies (optional), a clove of garlic and fry for a few minutes.
  • Once the onion has softened, add one mug of Arborio or Turkish rice and stir to coat all the grains. Add some salt at this point.
  • Throw in a few handfuls of roughly chopped (not too small because you want to keep the flavour and feel the texture of the mushroom) çintar mushroom and stir. Obviously, you can use other types of mushroom if you can’t get çintar mushrooms!
  • Stir the mixture for a couple of minutes. At this point, it’s traditional to add a splash of vermouth to your risotto but we stick to the stock otherwise, in Turkey, your risotto will suddenly rocket in price.
  • Get a ladle full of stock from your simmering pan and add it to the rice and mushroom. Stir gently with a wooden spoon until the stock evaporates.
  • Take another ladle full and repeat the process. Keep adding a ladle full of the stock and stirring till it evaporates until your rice is al dente.
  • Keep testing it as you don’t want to end up with a plate of mush. A risotto should have the rice grains intact and the starch should have created an oozy sauce.
Çintar Mushroom Risotto

Delicious, oozy çintar mushroom & spinach risotto

  • Once you’re happy the rice is cooked, remove from the heat, add a small knob of butter and some Parmesan cheese and stir.
  • Add a couple of handfuls of chopped spinach, cover the pan and leave it to stand for five minutes.
  • Mix in the spinach and serve. (If you’re being very naughty, a drizzle of olive oil over the top does taste really nice – but I don’t put it on. Cheese and butter is more than enough guilt for me.)

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  1. What a magical dish! I wish we could find those mushrooms here. It’s freezing here, too!

  2. They’re my favourite mushroom Belinda – being that I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms.

  3. I always wondered what they do with these mushrooms. Now I know. Need someone to cook it for me though, ’cause all I can make is scrambled eggs and hot water. BTW. Swett Revenge is in the post to you.

  4. Fantastic! I love any kind of mushroom risotto, so trying one made with mushrooms I’ve never had is very tasty, I’m sure.

  5. Thanks Inka. Looking forward to getting it. Hope it gets here okay. Hey, you can mix the mushrooms with your scrambled eggs:)

    Adam, these mushrooms are just the best!

  6. I love mushrooms! This sounds and looks delicious. My stomach is rumbling and screaming…I WANT SOME 🙂

  7. Looks delicious, I love mushroom rissoto

  8. Nancie and Ayngelina: If you’re ever in Turkey, you know where to come! 🙂

  9. Caz Makepeace says

    Delicious! I love risotto and I’m vegetarian so this sounds right up my alley. Thanks for sharing

  10. We’re not vegetarian but we eat much more veggie food since we came to Turkey. Meat is really expensive – and these mushrooms are just as good as any meat! 🙂

  11. There were some good cintar recipes & info on this website – http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/miscellaneous/fetch-recipe.php?rid=misc-marinated-saffron-milk-caps


    • Thanks for that Claire. We’re always on the lookout for other recipes we can use to make the most of our çintar mushrooms. We’ve added a few more to the blog since this one but will look at this site, too. 🙂

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