1 whole bulb garlic, top trimmed back so that the cloves are exposed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Salt and white pepper
4 tablespoons butter
4 large onions, chopped
1 teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 large fresh bay leaf
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups water
6 cups beef or chicken bone broth
¼ cup dry sherry
1½ cups Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
Handful of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about ½ cup)
1 cup aged Gouda or Gruyere, grated
Chopped parsley and finely chopped fresh thyme, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 400˚F and place the trimmed garlic bulb on a piece of aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a tablespoon of EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic in the foil and let roast in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes.
Heat risotto pot or round bottom sturdy pot over medium heat and melt 4 tablespoons butter, add onions, and season with salt, white pepper, thyme, sage and fresh bay, then caramelize 45 minutes, stirring often and reducing heat as necessary to get them very soft and sweet.
Meanwhile, heat porcini in small pot with water to low boil, reduce heat and plump the mushrooms to tender, remove, cool and finely chop. Return pot to stove and warm the beef bone broth. When onions are deeply caramel in color, add sherry and let it absorb, remove bay leaf and transfer onions to a small dish and cover, wipe pot and return to stove. Heat pan over medium-high heat, add EVOO, 2 turns of the pan. Add rice and stir 2 minutes, season with salt and pepper, squeeze in the roasted garlic right out of the skin, add white wine and let it fully absorb, add in chopped porcini mushrooms and then add a few ladles of broth to just cover the rice and stir a minute or two more and let it simmer into rice and absorb. From the time you add the broth, the rice will take 18 minutes. Add the parmesan cheese to the rice along with the onions, serve in soup bowls topped with gouda and broil for a few minutes to melt the cheese. To finish, sprinkle with fresh parsley and thyme.