Mushroom Caprese Risotto with Balsamic Shrimp: a traditional side dish is the star of the dinner table in this simple meal, bringing together the classic flavors of caprese, prosciutto, and shrimp in a creamy white wine risotto.
Can we talk about rice for a sec?
And how, in spite of being married to a rice-adoring Dominican, in almost a year of blogging here, I haven’t shared any recipes that include it?
What. the. hell.
I grew up in a very Polish & German-oriented household, and many a dinner consisted of a meat, a vegetable, and mashed potatoes with gravy. That’s just how Nana rolled in the kitchen.
Raised to love starches. Sounds like a bad song title.
Now that her kitchen is mine, the list of approved starches has grown to often include quinoa, pasta, legumes, and oatmeal. Potatoes still stand strong, but top billing now belongs to rice. And in celebration of that fact, I’m sharing my very unique take on a classic dish that stars the grain – Mushroom Caprese Risotto with Balsamic Shrimp.
This was my very first attempt at risotto.
I’m not sure what it was about the dish that intimidated me so much. It’s a very involved dish, and failing to pay close attention quickly ends in disaster.
It might also have to do with the horrible rants I’ve seen Gordon Ramsay spout off about it. Seriously. If you aren’t familiar, just look him up on YouTube.
That lovable jackass crosses my mind plenty of times while cooking.
“What would Gordon say about the color of this steak?”
“Would Gordon like the flavor of this marinade?”
“What kind of sourpuss face would Gordon make at the consistency of this omelet?”
Don’t get the wrong idea. Knowing what a professional he is, and how strongly his opinions are valued in the dining world matter to me, but he’s not the be-all-end-all.
And he’s certainly not the only chef in the world who can make a great risotto.
After much research, and much narrowing down of possible ingredients, I decided to stick a relatively basic mushroom risotto. I also knew I wanted to add a bit of protein to the finished product, so I settled on shrimp, the elements of caprese, and a touch of prosciutto.
But how do you work a strong flavor like balsamic vinegar, essential to caprese, into risotto without making the dish taste like balsamic vinegar?
The shrimp took the hit, which turned out to be pretty tasty by themselves.
The flavors of all the other elements I added ending up working really well together, as well.
The tang of the tomatoes played nicely with the earthy mushrooms. The sweet basil and prosciutto paired well as final additions.
And every risotto for forever on needs to include the stringy goodness of mozzarella.
In spite of me singing the praises of my new kitchen adventure results, believe me when I say I’m no risotto expert. The first time I made this, I only tasted it one time, and I took it off the heat a bit too early.
Which resulted in slightly too al dente risotto.
Which resulted in Mr. Crumby eating everything but the rice, because he has a “texture thing.”
Which resulted in a giant blow to my self-esteem. Boo.
Luckily, future attempts can always be improved. Don’t be like me, folks. Follow the recipe, and check out the things I did to avoiding making the same mistake twice with my caprese risotto.
Tips for Making Perfect Risotto:
- Use Arborio or Carnaroli rice. Even if you never heard of them, I guarantee your local grocery store carries at least one. Basmati and Jasmine rice just won’t do risotto any justice.
- Toast your rice (“tostatura”) with butter or oil before you add your liquid. Unless you really like rice oatmeal. Toasting helps keep the rice from absorbing the liquid too quickly, therefore keeping it from getting mushy.
- Boil your broth, and keep it simmering as you cook your risotto. Add it in 1/2 cup increments, and keep in mind that you’ll probably use more than you think to get the right texture, so be sure to have enough ready to go. No one like al dente risotto.
- Don’t be afraid of using too much wine. Pfft. There’s simply no such thing. A good dry white will make your risotto flavors pop! Splash some in with your broth if you like an even more pronounced wine flavor.
- Don’t walk away from your risotto! It’s a very delicate process drumming up a perfect version, and chances are that if you run to catch a news segment or take a bathroom break, you’ll burn it. Don’t start cooking until you can dedicate a solid 20 minutes to standing next to your oven.
- Taste your food! Chefs constantly try small bites of their food to make sure it’s coming along the way it should be. At about the 15 minute mark after you add your first cup of broth, start sampling the risotto. If it’s still crunchy, add more broth and continue to stir every couple of minutes. Bland? Dash in some salt and pepper, or your favorite seasonings.
LOOKING FOR MORE SEAFOOD RECIPES?
- Seafood fra Diavolo with Bucatini
- Grilled Salmon with Strawberry Salsa
- Paella-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
HELPFUL KITCHEN TOOLS FOR MAKING CAPRESE RISOTTO:
Join in on the fun in our Facebook group! Feel free to share YOUR favorite recipes, ask questions, help out your fellow home cooks, and see what’s new with The Crumby Kitchen (so that you never miss a new recipe)! If you’d like to check it out, you can request to join HERE.
Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and tag #crumbykitchen so we can see all the wonderful recipes YOU recreate from this site!
You can also subscribe to our weekly newsletter so you never miss a delicious recipe again!
Mushroom Caprese Risotto with Balsamic Shrimp
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 1 cup baby portobello mushrooms sliced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes quartered
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 1 large shallot dlced
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine pinot grigio or chardonnay
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth boiling hot
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil chopped & divided
- ¾ cup fresh mozzarella diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic diced
- ½ pound raw shrimp peeled, deveined, and washed
- Dash of salt
- Splash of dry white wine
- 2 ounces prosciutto chopped
- In a medium skillet over low heat, combine 1 Tablespoon each oil and butter and melt, stirring to blend.
- Add mushrooms. Saute 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the tomatoes, and feel free to add a splash of wine right before removing the skillet from the heat. Set aside.
- Keep a pot with your broth simmering in it nearby, as you must add boiling broth to the rice to cook it properly.
- In a large saute pan set over medium heat, heat the remaining butter and oil. When hot, add garlic and shallots to the pan and saute 1-2 minutes.
- Add the rice, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, so it can soak up all the fat from the butter and oil. Reduce heat to medium low.
- Add the white wine, and stir until it is almost all absorbed.
- Add 1 cup of broth and a pinch of salt, stirring constantly until it is fully absorbed. Repeat, adding ½ cup of broth each time and stirring until desired doneness and creaminess is reached. The total process should take between 15 and 20 minutes.
- Add 2 Tablespoons basil, remaining salt, and pepper just before the final cup of broth is fully absorbed, then remove from heat when it's done.
- Stir in mushroom-tomato mixture until well blended, then add diced mozzarella while it's all still hot to help with melting.
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat; when hot, add vinegar and garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.
- Add the shrimp, salt, and splash of wine. Saute for 3-5 minutes until opaque in color, flipping shrimp as needed.
- Assemble risotto as above, then top with shrimp, prosciutto, and remaining basil. Serve & enjoy!
Lacey Charrene says
That looks really, really good. Get in my belly! Thanks for sharing, going to give it a try.
taylor @ greens & chocolate says
I love your inspiration for making this risotto! And I don’t think I’d be able to handle even thinking about Gordon Ramsey with me in the kitchen…he’s one scary dude.
Yolanda Williams says
I telling you the truth, i love seafood and shrimp is among my favorites. So this recipe is a win win for me. I think it would be a meal for a dinner party. Of course with a great bottle of wine. As for tasting you meals while cooking, that never works for me. I always end up full by the time the meals is ready. lol
Liz Leiro says
This sounds delicious and looks absolutely beautiful! I’m just as excited to try out your recipe as I am to find out that there are vegan food options at the Wynn now 🙂 I’m definitely going to have to try this recipe out for my next date night with my husband.
Sounds like you need to stop watching Gordon! 😉 That looks so good! I think you totally nailed it. Thank you for the tips too! I think if I was making this and following your tips, it would be one of those times that I feel like a real cook, lately I have become such a lazy one. Definitely going to be pinning this!
This looks absolutely delicious!
Olivia @ Olivia's Cuisine says
I love risotto! I think it is my favorite dish to cook. I have a few recipes on my blog and am working on a cookbook! 🙂 I love what you did here! Looks so colorful and flavorful!
Kori Tomelden says
I’ll admit, the thought of making a proper risotto does intimidate me. I’ve made one in the slow cooker because I just don’t have the patience to keep checking it. That said, this recipe does sound incredibly delicious.
Anita Utami says
This is so mouthwatering! I tried my first attempt of risotto last year, and I am hooked! At first, I was so intimidated too, but after I got to know the dish, I am comfortable making it now. You are right about “don’t leave your risotto!”. Sometimes I just spend an hour in the kitchen, stirring and stirring. The result is so worth it though: creamy and yummy rice. Yum!
I love risotto. It is not quick to cook but the results are always well worth the wait.
OMG, I love everything about this recipe. There is nothing better than shrimp and risotto!
christina aliperti says
I also hear Chef Ramsay yelling at me in my mind while I am cooking. I have always been too intimidated to make a risotto but I think with these tips I may be able to pull it off! I love all the flavors you used so I think I will follow the recipe without making any changes. Just thinking of the mushrooms and shrimp and caprese flavors is making my mouth water!
This looks delicious Erica! Where is mine??!!
This looks AMAZING. Totally something I would make for a date night or a special occasion. Also, I love your tips! So helpful!!
Sharon @ What The Fork Food Blog says
I’ve never actually made risotto before – which probably means I’m the worst food blogger ever lol. Time to change that!
Leigh Powell Hines says
This looks insanely good. Yum. I think risotto is good, and your recipe seems easy.
Girl, I think I love you! This recipe has everything I love in it. Thank you for sharing it.
This looks absolutely amazing!! I really love risotto and shrimp, but I’ve never put them together! Thanks for sharing this amazingly yummy looking recipe!
Chene Atkins- Whittington says
Oh my word! This looks so. I love anything with shrimp in it.
Joanne T Ferguson says
This looks absolutely delicious Erica! Pinned and shared and hope to see you on Saturday!
Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories says
I’m drooling, this looks so good! Thanks for sharing with Small Victories Sunday Linkup. Pinning to our linkup board and hope you join us again this weekend.
Can I ask what kind of camera you have? Your pictures are gorgeous. I’m in the market for a new camera and I love seeing what other people use.