Thursday, May 24, 2012
The weather this past week has been amazing. Super crisp mornings and blue as blue skies all day long. Because it's so hot here in Perth for a good portion of the year, it's easy to forget that it does actually still get cold in late autumn and winter. But I really don't mind the cold, so long as it's sunny too! It's nice rugging up in the morning, but then still being able to peel off a few layers during the middle of the day. And I love that when you stand out in the sun, it's warm enough to thaw your frozen fingers, but not hot enough to make you feel like hiding indoors.
I picked up a bunch of beautiful flat (field) mushrooms the other day with intentions of making some kind of mushroom-type stew thing to serve over pasta. But they were so beautiful and fresh that I changed my mind and made something quick, easy and flavourful instead using simple ingredients that many of you will have at hand. With the addition of lemon juice instead of the more common use of cream, these mushrooms are light and fresh and just perfect to serve over buttered quinoa.
I actually never used to be a huge fan of mushrooms served as the main ingredient in a dish. Sure I've always loved them raw and would eat them if they were part of something, but I never used to get the whole mushrooms on toast thing until I was pregnant with my first child. I went through a faze of eating scrambled eggs on toast with buttery garlic mushrooms for dinner at least a few nights a week. It was totally my thing. And it all kinda makes sense when you realise that during pregnancy your body generally craves whatever is needed. I must have been low in B vitamins because they pack quite the punch on that front. Or maybe it was minerals like selenium and potassium that my body needed, cause they are a great source of those too? Mushrooms are also the only plant based source of Vitamin D. Something good to know as so many of us are lacking nowadays due to the long hours many people spend working indoors and our inbuilt fear of the sun and it's links with cancer.
So anyway, I now love mushrooms. And finally feel like I'm a real vegetarian ;-)
One last little thing. I know you're probably over these kinda things. But I am hoping you might all have 2 spare seconds to vote for My Darling Lemon Thyme over at Circle of Moms and their Top 25 Foodie Mom Awards? No sign-up needed, just one little click. And the cool thing is, you can vote once a day for the next 6 days! Thanks a million xx
lemon thyme mushrooms on buttered quinoa
To make this totally dairy-free as opposed to lactose-free, simply use extra virgin olive oil in place of the ghee/butter. If you're not a fan of chilli, leave out or remove the seeds before slicing to make less hot.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups cold water
- 1 tablespoon ghee (or butter)
- 400g field (flat) mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thickly
- 1 tablespoon ghee (or butter)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 birds eye chillies, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf, dried or fresh
- zest and juice 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup (60ml) water
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- roughly torn flat leaf parsley, to serve
To cook the quinoa bring the water to the boil, rinse the quinoa well (to remove the saponin, a bitter protective coating) and drain. The easiest way to do this is to put the raw grain into a fine mesh sieve and rinse under running water, then set aside to drain while the waters coming up to the boil. When your waters boiling, add the rinsed quinoa, cover and turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for 10-12 mins until the grains become translucent and an unusual outer white ring shows. Remove from the heat, add the ghee (or butter) and stir through with a fork. Set aside.
To cook the mushrooms, melt the ghee (or butter) and olive oil in a frying pan over med-high heat. Add garlic, chillies, thyme and bay leaf. Cook 30 seconds, stirring until fragrant. Add in the sliced mushrooms, stir to coat in the flavoured ghee. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often until the mushroom is tender. Add lemon zest, juice and water and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the liquid has reduced but just a little remains to keep the mushrooms moist. Remove from the heat and discard bay leaf, scatter with parsley and serve over buttered quinoa.
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