A slow cooker simplifies the process of making risotto, which usually requires constant stirring. Add freshness with an herbed mushroom salad: Brush 1/2 lb. (250 g.) fresh white or cremini mushrooms clean, trim the stems, and cut them vertically into paper-thin slices. Place the sliced mushroom in a bowl and add an herbed vinaigrette. Toss gently until lightly coated.
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 large shallots, finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, sliced
2 cups (14 oz./440 g.) Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) dry white wine
6 cups (48 fl. oz./1.5 l.) vegetable or chicken stock, homemade or purchased
Salt and freshly ground pepper
8 oz. (250 g.) frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and halved lengthwise
Herbed mushroom salad for serving (see note above; optional)
1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g.) grated Parmesan cheese
In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with the oil. Add the shallots and saute until lightly golden, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the rice, stir to coat with the fat, and cook, stirring, until the rice kernels start to click on the pan, 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer, stirring occasionally, until it has been almost completely absorbed, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) of the stock, then transfer the contents of the pan to a slow cooker. Add 1 teaspoon salt and the remaining 5 cups (40 fl. oz./1.25 l.) stock. Cover and cook on the high setting for 1 hour.
Add the artichokes, re-cover, and continue to cook for 1 1/4 hours longer. The rice should be tender but slightly al dente in the center and the mixture creamy. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and several grinds of pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt.
To serve, spoon the risotto into warm shallow bowls. Top each serving with some of the salad, if using. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and serve at once. Serves 4.