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Mushroom and buckwheat risotto

The Beauty Chef’s founder Carla Oates learned first-hand that beauty begins in the belly when she was a teenager with troubled skin. By raising awareness of the link between beauty and gut health, Carla has shown that beauty really is more than skin deep.

Her Mushroom and buckwheat risotto recipe is perfect for this time of year – comforting and delicious as well as gut-healing and full of goodness.

Serves 4-6

INGREDIENTS

• 1 cup buckwheat

• 60 ml olive oil

• 1 leek, thinly sliced

• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

• 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs to serve

• 350g mixed mushrooms, small ones halved, large ones thickly sliced

• 60g finely grated sheep’s pecorino or parmesan

• Large handful coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve

• Finely grated rind of 1 lemon, juice of ½

Mushroom stock

• 2 litres filtered water

• 3 large field mushrooms, broken into large pieces

• 2 leeks, coarsely chopped

• 2 heads of garlic, halved

• 4 thyme sprigs

• 1 fresh bay leaf

• 20g dried mushrooms

METHOD

• To make the mushroom stock, simmer all the ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat until well-flavoured (about 45 minutes), strain into a clean saucepan (discard or compost the solids) and keep warm over low heat. The stock can be frozen at this point as it’s a great freezer standby.

• Rinse buckwheat and set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add leek, garlic and thyme, stir occasionally until tender (about 5 minutes), add mushrooms, season to taste and cook until beginning to soften (about 5 minutes).

• Next, stir in the buckwheat, then add a couple of ladles of mushroom stock, enough to just cover the buckwheat and cook, stirring until absorbed. Season to taste as you cook and continue adding stock like this, stirring until it’s all absorbed before adding more, just as you would when making a risotto. Cook until the buckwheat is just tender but still has a little bite to it (about 25 minutes) – you may not need all the mushroom stock, but any leftover can be frozen for another use.

• Stir in the parmesan, parsley, lemon rind and lemon juice, check the seasoning and serve hot, scattered with extra parmesan, parsley and thyme.