Monday, October 25, 2010

Red & White Quinoa Mushroom Risotto‏

Quinoa is considered a complete protein, meaning it provides all 9 of the amino acids crucial to human function. It is the only plant based protein to do so. There are two varieties of quinoa: red and white. I found quinoa in the organic section of my grocery store. Also, if you're in Canada, you can buy both white and red quinoa in bulk at Bulk Barn. It's a tiny grain and once you cook them, you can see a spiral shape form.

Red & White Quinoa

For November's Quinoa Salad contest, from 20 minute supper club challenge, I decided to attempt a quinoa "risotto" (By the way, if you haven't had a chance, please vote from my October submission: pesto goat cheesy pasta - it's the first recipe at the bottom and I need your help!). I used mushrooms since it seems like a perfect ingredient for fall, but you could replace them with another vegetable of your liking. Roasted squash would also be a perfect fall addition! The vegetables have to be cooked beforehand and added at the end.

Red & White Quinoa Mushroom Risotto‏

Red & White Quinoa Mushroom Risotto - Serves 4

Cooking Mushrooms
I use the same method whether I'm preparing mushrooms for soup, pizza or ravioli. Thyme combines so well with mushroom.

* oil
* 1 shallot, diced small (or ½ onion)
* 2 handfuls of your favourite mushrooms, sliced
* 2 thyme sprigs
* Marsala wine (optional)
* salt and pepper

In a large saucepan, heat up the oil on medium heat.
Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 1-2 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and thyme leaves.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add marsala wine if using.
Once the mushrooms are cooked, set aside.

Mushrooms Mushrooms
Cooking mushrooms: button, shiitake and oyster mushrooms.

Cooking the quinoa
* 2 cups vegetable both
* 1 tbsp butter
* 1 shallot, diced small (or ½ onion)
* 1 cup quinoa, red or white (or both!)
* ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
* mushrooms, cooked (see below - or any other vegetable of your choice!)
* truffle oil (optional)

In a small pot, heat up the vegetable broth. (For extra mushroom flavour, you can add dried mushrooms to the broth).
In a large saucepan, add butter.
Add shallot and cook until softened.
Add the quinoa, and mix, making sure the quinoa gets coated with the butter.
Add a ladle of broth, adding more as the broth evaporates.
Add Parmesan and mix.
Add the cooked mushrooms.
Finish with a drizzle of truffle oil if using.

Cooking Quinoa Cooking Quinoa Cooking Quinoa Adding cheese
Making quinoa "risotto".

Although I followed the risotto cooking method, the result is not quite risotto like. Instead, quinoa retains its crunchiness, and doesn't have starch like rice to make the "risotto" thick. However, the resulting dish was still very tasty. I love the mix of red and white colours from the two types of quinoa. Considering quinoa's properties, it's also a very healthy dish!

Red & White Quinoa Mushroom Risotto‏
Quinoa and mushroom goodness.


Gastronomer said...

I voted for you again on my home computer. I hope that's not considered cheating ;-)

The quinoa risotto sounds great! Too bad Vern is so averse to mushrooms. He has no idea what he's missing.

Anonymous said...

Nina, your mushroom and quinoa looks really good. Love mushrooms and have been messing around with quinoa lately. Will have to try this very soon!