Perfect for a night in

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Try this mushroom risotto with thyme recipe. It’s the ultimate comfort food. Enjoy it with a glass of Zonnebloem Merlot for at-home restaurant experience.

Risotto is easier to make than you think, so why not give this recipe a try? For great presentation, sauté exotic mushroom, such as shimeji, separately until just turning golden, and serve these on top of the risotto with a sprinkle of fresh thyme and lemon zest.

Perfect wine pairing:

Zonnebloem Merlot. Even though this recipe uses white wine, the earthiness of the mushrooms is a match made in heaven with merlot. This juicy wine has a lovely ruby-red colour with a bouquet of red fruit, mulberry and hints of cigar box and oak spice.Elegant and medium-to-full bodied, the delicate red fruit integrates brilliantly with the oak flavours to deliver a well-balanced, lingering finish. This is comfort food to the max – perfect for a relaxing evening in.

Zonnebloem Merlot is now available in a 2L slim boxes. Not only does it fit easily in the fridge, but it’s also an elegant addition to the dinner table.


RECIPE | Mushroom risotto with thyme



  • Olive oil
  • 600 g mushrooms of your choice, sliced
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme leaves, plus extra for serving
  • 2 brown onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 400 g arborio rice
  • 500 ml white wine (we recommend Zonnebloem Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 15 ml butter
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon



1. Drizzle some oil in a large pan set over medium-high heat and sauté the mushrooms with the thyme leaves (do this in batches) until just golden. Set aside. 

2. In a second deep pan or pot over medium heat, sauté the onions in olive oil. Once just cooked through, add the garlic and continue to sauté.

3. Add the rice and turn up the heat. The rice will begin to lightly fry, so keep stirring it. After 1 minute, it will look slightly translucent. Add 1 cup of wine and continue to stir until absorbed. Add the second cup of wine and, again, keep stirring until absorbed.

4. Add your first ladle of hot stock. Turn the heat down to a simmer so that the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring the rice and allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take about 15 minutes. The rice will be cooked when it is soft but has a bite to it. Taste the rice to check the seasoning. If you run out of stock before the rice is completely cooked, just add small amounts of boiling water.

5. Add the cooked mushrooms to the rice and stir through with butter.

6. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the Parmesan and pop on the lid. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes before serving.

7. Garnish with some lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice with some extra fresh thyme leaves.

TIP | Brown mushrooms have more flavour than white, button mushrooms.

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