Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2 Recipe #102: Wild Mushroom Quinoa Risotto with Fresh Herbs & Hazelnuts

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As you might recall, earlier this month I created a recipe for wild mushroom risotto with black truffle oil. It turned out so well that I decided to create another wild mushroom risotto recipe, this time using quinoa instead of superfino arborio rice. As one of the touted "super foods," quinoa is an exceptionally nutritious grain, so it only made sense to try to create a risotto recipe that would be even healthier than the last one I'd created. What can I say?! I like a good challenge. :)

Wild Mushroom Quinoa Risotto with Fresh Herbs & Hazelnuts

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. fresh garlic, peeled & finely minced (about 2 medium-sized garlic cloves)
1/2 c. wild mushrooms (cremini, porcini, &/or shiitake), washed/cleaned & sliced
1/4 c. (uncooked) quinoa
2-3 c. water or vegetable stock (or more as needed)
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh sorrel, finely minced
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves (about 10 large sprigs)
1/2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced (about 1 sprig)
1/2 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, finely minced (about 2 sprigs)
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, finely minced
2 tsp. ground (toasted) hazelnuts
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
small pinch red chili pepper flakes (less than 1/8 tsp.)
ground black pepper, to taste (optional)
small pinch salt (optional)
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese (heaping 1/3 c.)

Directions: Sauté garlic in olive oil on low heat until soft & translucent but not browned. Stir frequently. Add mushrooms & hazelnuts, & cook for a minute or so. Then mix in quinoa, stirring continually for about 30 seconds. Watch pan carefully so quinoa doesn't brown or burn. (This step is particularly important, as it cooks off the quinoa's starchy coating & prevents the grains from getting sticky & mushy when the liquid ingredients are added. Quinoa should be firm & slightly crispy, but not browned.) Using a liquid measuring cup, add water/stock so that it just barely covers quinoa, incorporating only a cup at a time, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed (about 1 minute). Allow each cup to be absorbed before adding the next. Add all fresh & dried herbs & spices, & mix together thoroughly. Cook until quinoa is al dente, about 10-15 minutes. Quinoa mixture should be creamy but still firm. When ready, remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese, mixing thoroughly to evenly distribute ingredients. Garnish each portion with a sprig of parsley, & serve immediately.

Yield: 1 serving.

Recommended Equipment: I like to use a nice deep sauté pan like the Calphalon One Nonstick 5-Quart Sauté Pan with Glass Lid. . This pan works really nicely & is the perfect dimensions for risotto, i.e., nice & deep, but wide enough to accomodate all the ingredients, without them stacking on top of each other. It's particularly important in this dish that the ingredients have enough room to spread out in the pain; otherwise the ingredients will steam versus sauté.


Sharon said...

Made this to go with our Valentine's Evening Meal at home. It was delicious! Be sure to make more than you need, so you have leftovers. Trust me you're going to want some more. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

Cyberpenguin said...

You're welcome, Sharon. Thanks for your glowing review. So glad that you enjoyed the recipe. Hope you had a great Valentine's Day!

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