Friday, May 9, 2014

lemony, herb + quinoa stuffed mushrooms

My 7 year old nephew is quite the hunter-gatherer and spend loads of time foraging for food with his Dad. A few weeks ago when I was home in NZ, mushroom season was just getting underway and they went out two days straight, picking field mushrooms from the paddock near the beach. The last day I was there they came home with a huge bucketful of goodies and within minutes of walking in the door, he had the frying pan on the stovetop with a good dollop of butter and a handful of mushrooms in there cooking away. I had a sneaky feeling he'd done this many, many times before.

I know mushrooms are readily available all year round nowadays, but it’s right now- when the weather is cooling and the rain is awakening them from their long summer sleep that it’s the perfect time to celebrate and enjoy them. I love mushrooms prepared simply and often want for nothing more than a pat of butter and a few slices of garlic in the pan alongside, however it's sometimes nice to jazz things up a little bit too. Lemon + thyme are two of my favourite things to pair with mushrooms, they bring a lightness and freshness to a vegetable that is all too often coated in cream, leaving you feeling heavy and weighed down. I picked up these beauties from our local farmers markets (I'm not brave enough to forage for them myself!) and I've had this idea to top them with a flavoursome quinoa mixture for some time and I gotta say, I was really stoked with the results. So was Ada (she even asked for some in her lunchbox the next day!). If you want to make the filling hold together in more of a ‘traditional’ stuffed mushroom kinda way, feel free to add an egg to the quinoa mixture before placing it on top of the mushrooms. And of course, if you're vegan, simply leave the feta off the top. The bright flavours in the filling will happily carry themselves without it anyway.

To all the mama's out there, much respect. I hope you're all spoilt rotten this Mother's Day. 
Love Emm xx

Lemony, herb + quinoa stuffed mushrooms
I used large flat (field) mushrooms, but smaller button ones will also work. If you don't already have cooked quinoa at hand you will need approx 1/2 cup (90g) of raw quinoa grains. Bring 3/4 cup (185ml) water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Rinse quinoa well to remove the saponin, a bitter protective coating, then 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 12 mins or until the grains become translucent, the water is absorbed and an unusual outer white ring shows. Remove from the heat and fluff up with a fork. You may have a little more than is needed for this recipe, store any leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Serves 3-4 with salad

8 large flat (field) mushrooms
Extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
The finely grated zest + juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup cooked quinoa *see headnotes
Fine sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
Feta cheese, optional

Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F. Remove stalks from the mushrooms and finely chop them. Place mushroom caps into an oven tray, season well with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast mushrooms for 8-10 minutes or until just tender. Meanwhile heat a frying pan over medium heat, add garlic, thyme, lemon zest and finely chopped mushroom stalks and cook while stirring for 2-3 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and garlic fragrant. Add quinoa and stir well, check seasoning and squeeze over the lemon juice. 

Remove mushrooms from the oven, scoop up a couple of tablespoonfuls of quinoa mixture and place on top of each mushroom. Scatter tops with a little feta, if desired and bake for an extra 10-15 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Serve hot or at room temperature, with a lovely salad on the side.

This post was sponsored by Australian Mushroom Growers Association. I love mushrooms and I love encouraging people to eat real food made using local seasonal ingredients, so agreeing to do this post was a no-brainer. Eat more 'shrooms people! (All views are my own, naturally).


  1. these look delicious! look forward to making them :-)

  2. THEY FORAGED MUSHROOMS?! i would be so afraid that i'd accidentally find a psychedelic one :-O

    1. Haha, these ones that I've used here were from my local farmers markets. My brother-in-law knows his stuff though, so there's no chance of mix-ups. I must admit though, that I'm too scared to go picking them myself. Sadly I don't know enough about them to trust my judgement. xx

  3. I can just imagine these beauties tucked in a bento. Great recipe, I love how much nutrition is crammed in one little button! - a clean eating bento blog. Japanese or Asian-inspired!

  4. How elegant! I'm not a fan of mushrooms, but that lemon herb quinoa sounds like it would be an amazing side dish.

    1. The filling is good enough to eat on it's own for sure! xx

  5. I'd love so much to learn about foraging mushrooms! I've seen some around this season but I'm too scared to pick them!

    1. I'm a little bit the same, I'll need to get some tips from my nephew when we move home to NZ oneday ;-)

  6. These mushrooms look fabulous!! Such a lovely recipe!

  7. I am a huge mushroom fan and while we use field mushrooms as a base for 'pizza' I've not thought of filling them like this.
    Your nephew sounds like my type of kid. Love that he foraged for his least at home we'll never go hungry ;)

    1. It was so cool to see him heading out with his dad to pick mushrooms, wish more kids got excited about these kinds of things! xx

  8. Ooh yummy! I wish we could forage for mushrooms here, but we have Death Caps that cause deaths every couple of years to the unwary. My 90yr old grandma picked and ate some mushrooms from her property in qld- and they were magic mushrooms! Dangerous (but so funny too) xox

    1. Oh no! That's a tad scary and a teeny bit funny to watch your Grandma tripping I bet! ;-) xx

  9. Emma, I think I'm in love with your nephew... a 7 year old who cooks up mushroom regularly!!
    I hope you had a great Mother's Day! Can't wait to see you...

    1. You would absolutly love Jaia, Erin! Counting down the days until I get to see you lovely lady! xx

  10. This dish looks heavenly, and I wholeheartedly agree with you about using good, seasonal ingredients, there's nothing better!

  11. Just discovered your blog after googling something to do with field mushrooms and quinoa - these turned out SO yum!

  12. I was drooling before I even started reading. I didn't even know what it was a picture of but it looked delicious.


Thanks so much for stopping by, arohanui xx Emm

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