Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Meatless Monday: Broccoli & Wild Mushroom Quinotto

After a weekend chock full of lots of delicious and rich eats, I have to be honest I was pretty psyched for Meatless Monday.  After we dropped my sis and DD, her boyfriend off at the airport I knew I had to figure out something for dinner.  The only requirement the boy had was something not too heavy.  Now keep in mind not too heavy to him and to most people aren't one in the same.  When I say something not too heavy I think of a salad, while he'd happily at that I knew for dinner he'd want something a bit heartier.

We had some broccoli and a bag of dried wild mushrooms that I knew would be the basis for whatever I made.  I thought about risotto and when asking for some inspiration on twitter, risotto was also suggested.  To me that meant that some form of risotto was in the cards.  I then got to thinking risotto with mushrooms and broccoli sounds all well and good but I'd still need to figure some sort of protein and this Monday was definitely a one dish kind of day for me. That's when it came to me, quinoa, that amazing ancient grain that I've made a few times but have yet to come up with a recipe to post.  What if I made a quinoa risotto, a quinotto as I soon found it was called after a bit of web research.  I did some reading and found that it is really made in much the same way as risotto just subbing in the quinoa.  And thus this recipe was born.

Broccoli & Wild Mushroom Quinotto
serves 3-4

1 1/2 oz dried mushrooms
warm water
1/2 lb broccoli flowers and stems
1 shallot
2 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups of quinoa
4 cups vegetable stock or organic veggie boullion disolved in 4 cups water
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano
sea salt & cracked black pepper

1. Place the dried mushrooms into a large bowl and cover with warm water from the tap, let sit for 15-20 minutes until reconstituted.  Drain and reserve the liquid.
2. Cut the broccoli flower from the stem. Wash and separate the broccoli flowers into small pieces.  Peel the stems and cut into a 1/2" dice and set aside.  Bring a 4 quart pot of salted water to a nice simmer.  Place just the broccoli flowers in the water and cook for 3 minutes.  Drain in a colander and cool by running quickly under cold water. Set aside.
3.  Bring vegetable stock or boullion and water to a nice simmer, add the broccoli stem pieces and let simmer while prepping the rest of the ingredients.
4.  Heat oil in a 4 quart pot over medium heat.  Mince shallots and add to the heated pot.  Saute shallots for a few minutes until they begin to turn translucent.  Lower heat to medium low and add in the quinoa. Stir to coat with oil and begin to heat through.
5.  Add in the white wine and stir constantly until the wine is absorbed.  Using a ladle, add the simmering vegetable stock (including the broccoli stem pieces) to the quinoa.  Stirring constantly until each ladle of stock is absorbed.  It will take about 20 minutes.
6. Once all of the stock is absorbed, taste the quinoa, it should be cooked but have a little bite.  I added 1/2 cup of the reserved mushroom liquid, stirred until absorbed and found my quinotto was perfectly cooked.
7. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the parmigiano reggiano. Then fold in the broccoli and wild mushrooms.  Season with salt & pepper to taste and serve.

This was exactly the kind of light meal the boy was looking for and while it wasn't the fastest meal, the flavor was great and I really enjoyed it too.  I can't wait to play around more with quinoa in this type anf other types of preparations.


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