Camargue Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms

From issue #1.
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Camargue Rice Pilaf with Mushrooms

This unique recipe captures some of the flavour of the fascinating Camargue region.

Serves: Serves 4-6


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 cup red Camargue rice
1 cup chicken stock
3⁄4 cup reserved porcini soaking water
50g pinenuts, toasted

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
10g dried porcini
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons freshly chopped thyme
350g mixed mushrooms such as portobello, phoenix, and shiitake, cleaned and sliced if necessary
1 cup chicken stock
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup flat-leafed parsley, roughly chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Use a medium-sized saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.

Rice: Over a medium heat add the olive oil, onion and salt and cook until soft. Add the garlic, thyme, rice and stir to coat the rice. Cook for one minute.

Add the chicken stock and porcini liquid and bring to the boil. Cover with the lid, turn the heat to very low, and cook for 40 minutes.

Do not remove the lid during cooking – it allows steam to be released and affects the cooking time.

Mushrooms: Soak the porcini in 3⁄4 cup of hot water for at least 20 minutes then drain, reserving the soaking water.

Heat the butter and olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan.

Add the drained porcini. Cook for a few minutes, then add the garlic and thyme and cook for one minute. Add the fresh mushrooms, increase the heat, and cook until coloured.

Add the chicken stock and lemon juice, then allow the liquid to reduce until it has almost all evaporated. Add half the parsley and season to taste.

When the rice is cooked, add the mushrooms with the pine nuts and the extra parsley. Check seasoning and serve.