Mushroom Risotto with Spring Herbs

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 large shallot, diced small
½ pound Crimini or button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
½ cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan (1/4 ounce)
3 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, marjoram, and chives
6 ounces cooked, chopped bacon or ham (if desired)

In a medium saucepan, bring broth to a simmer; reduce heat and keep warm. In a 10-inch heavy- bottomed skillet or pot, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high. Add shallot and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until rice is translucent at edges, 1 minute.

Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 2 minutes. With a ladle, add about 1 cup broth to skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed, 4 minutes. Repeat, gradually adding broth by the cupful and stirring constantly, until rice is tender but still al dente and sauce is creamy (you may not need all of broth), 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons butter and Parmesan, along with herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

If you like, add 6 ounces cooked, chopped bacon or ham in step 3.

Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart