Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

For Gavin's celebratory dinner (he just passed his citizenship exam), his main request was something with mushrooms. He loves mushrooms, as do I, and wanted some sort of dish that featured them. Being a very open ended request, I went searching for different mushroom recipes that would work as a nice side dish to grilled steak (another of his favs). This quinoa risotto dish I found on Epicurious looked delicious and used lots of mushrooms combined with healthy quinoa and the lemony taste of fresh thyme. This isn't a true risotto as the quinoa is cooked with all the liquid at once, instead of gradually added like a classic risotto. However, the wine and mushroom combination give it a creamy texture that is similar to risotto, only with a lot less work. The Parmesan cheese on top adds that salty, nuttiness that is present in most risottos as well. So regardless of the technical definition of this dish, it was easy to make, healthy, and absolutely delicious. I used some extra fresh thyme combined with rosemary, salt, pepper and olive oil to rub the bison steaks and simply grilled them to medium rare. This side dish was definitely worthy of our celebratory dinner but was easy enough to be worth making any night of the week.

Mushroom Quinoa Risotto
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 oz crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
  • 4-6 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced
  • 3 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
Combine quinoa and stock in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add shallot and saute until lightly brown and soft.
Add garlic and cook another minute.
Add mushrooms and thyme. Saute until mushrooms are brown and tender, about 10 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Stir in wine and cook until the wine has reduced, another 5-8 minutes.
Mix quinoa and mushrooms together. Check seasoning.
Serve sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese.

For a printable recipe click here

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