Rich and comforting (especially with a big glass of wine), this is a good week night supper as it is quick and simple but effective. And rather healthy!
Use your favourite mushrooms. I also like to include “not my favourite” mushrooms, which are Shiitake – although I am becoming quite a fan. I find them a bit rubbery unless they are well cooked. However, they are pretty hardcore in terms of nutrition. Copper is an essential trace mineral and works in tandem with iron to keep the blood healthy, as well as supporting the nerves, the immune system and bones (lack of copper has been linked with both anaemia and osteoporosis). A serving of Shiitake mushrooms can provide about half our recommended daily intake of copper, and is a source of vitamin Bs.
Ingredients (serves 4)
6 shallots/3-4 medium onions
3-4 fat cloves of garlic
Juice of 1-2 lemons
Punnet of mushrooms – 300-400g
1 tbsp cashew nut butter
Salt and black pepper
- Dice the onions or shallots and fry for a few minutes in a drizzle of olive oil in a large saucepan. Either thinly slice or crush the garlic; if the latter, remember it will cook pretty quickly. Add to the onions and stir.
- Rinse the quinoa in a sieve under the tap, shaking as much water out as possible: quinoa has a natural, but bitter coating to protect itself from hungry birds. Stir into the frying onions and garlic.
- Allow the quinoa to ‘dry-fry’ with the vegetables for a few minutes, stirring constantly. This step is important as it toasts the grains (seeds), resulting in a greater depth of flavour. Add a pinch of salt and the lemon juice now as the grains will gently absorb them as they simmer.
- Pour in 400 ml of water, give the quinoa and onions a good stir and pop the saucepan lid on. Make sure the heat is on low. If you are using Shitaake mushrooms, put them in now.
- Most quinoa takes around 10-15 minutes to cook but do refer to the packet instructions – and check that it’s not catching on the bottom of the pan (add more water if so). If you are not using Shiitake, whilst you wait, slice your mushrooms thinly and throw them in towards the end of the cooking time – give them about 2-3 minutes.
- The quinoa is done when it is looking a bit more translucent and many of the kernels have opened up to a little ‘spiral’ tail. Just taste for confirmation. I like to let the quinoa ‘rest’ for a couple of minutes before scoffing. So turn off the heat, stir in the nut butter and replace the lid.
- Before serving, give a good stir and check the seasoning.
A savoury, full flavoured red from Bordeaux to bring out the earthiness of the mushrooms: try with The Wine Society Madame Chateau de Pitray, Cotes de Castillon
I have entered this recipe in April 2015’s Vegetable Palette, a monthly roundup by Allotment 2 Kitchen.