Although traditional risottos use refined arborio rice and require constant stirring, you can achieve excellent results with this oven-baked version using short-grain brown rice, taking advantage of its whole-grain benefits.
Combine porcini and hot water in a small bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid. Rinse the mushrooms well under cool water; drain and chop finely. Strain the reserved liquid through a coffee filter or paper towel to remove any sand or dirt.
Preheat oven to 220Â°C (7 Gas).
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven or large ovenproof high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add leek and the porcini; cook, stirring often, until the leek is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add rice, garlic and thyme; stir to coat well. Add wine and cook until almost all evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes. Add broth and the reserved porcini liquid. Bring to a boil. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven.
Bake until the rice is just tender but still has a little resistance and a creamy consistency, 40 to 50 minutes. If the risotto seems soupy, place it on the stovetop over medium heat and simmer for a few minutes, stirring, until it reaches the desired consistency.
While the risotto is baking, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add cremini and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
When the risotto is ready, stir in the cremini, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons parsley, vinegar, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining parsley on top and serve immediately.
1. To clean leeks: Trim and discard coarse green tops. Split leeks lengthwise with a sharp knife, beginning about 2.5 centimetres from the root end and cutting toward the green end. Leave root end attached. Swish leeks repeatedly in a basin of cold water to remove grit. Alternatively, trim roots and ragged tops. Slice leeks and place in plenty of water, then drain. Repeat a few times. The slices do not absorb water or lose flavor and the process is faster.
2. Ingredient notes: Use short-grain brown rice, available in natural-foods stores and large supermarkets, to achieve the characteristic creamy risotto texture.
3. Cremini mushrooms (sometimes called baby bella mushrooms) are a strain of button mushrooms prized for their dark hue, firm texture and rich flavor.