Thursday, January 7, 2010

Quinoa and Mushroom Risotto

I had a lot of nice meals planned for this week then Matt ended up having to make a last minute business trip to the Bay Area leaving me to cook for one. So, now I'm figuring out which of those meals can easily be sized down for one. This quinoa & mushroom risotto seemed like the perfect candidate to make for one.
Quinoa & Mushroom "Risotto"
When I first saw this in the latest edition of Bon Appetit I was immediately attracted to it because I like both quinoa & risotto a lot. I figured using quinoa might make for a healthier risotto. The real question for me was would it really be a risotto? The answer is no, it is not a risotto. Yes, the quinoa does have that bite which is similar to the rice in risotto but it doesn't release the starch which gives risotto its wonderful creaminess. This dish was really good in its own right though. It's hearty without being heavy which is perfect when we are all still trying eat a little better after the holidays. I'll make this again for Matt when he gets back & perhaps add some kale to it for a little green.

Quinoa & Mushroom "Risotto"
(adapted from Bon Appetit Jan. '10)

1/2 c water
1/4 c quinoa
1 t olive oil
1 small red onion (about 1/4 c), chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 - 4 oz crimini mushrooms, stemmed & sliced
1 t fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 c red wine (the recipe called for white but I had an open bottle of red & thought it would go nicely with the mushrooms, I imagine you could use chicken stock too)
salt & pepper
grated parmesan

Bring the water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt & the quinoa. Reduce the heat, cover & let simmer for 13 - 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion & sauté until it begins to brown. Add the garlic & sauté for about 30 seconds. Stir the mushrooms & thyme into the pan. Cook until the mushrooms are very tender. Pour in the red wine & stir while cooking until reduced & slightly syrupy. Stir in the cooked quinoa. Season with salt & pepper. Serve with parmesan sprinkled on top.

1 serving

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© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski


The Chef In My Head said...

I saw this too in Bon Appetite and wanted to give it a try, thank you! And btw, the Panini looks amazing, I will save that one for my daughter who has turned into the Panini Queen! I found your site at One Perfect Bite, I understand why she has you listed, great blog, I will be back often!-LeslieMichele

Anonymous said...

It looks so yummy. I'll try it very soon. I have all ingredients :)

Lo said...

Looks delicious. I'll bet the earthiness of the mushrooms was a perfect pairing with the quinoa. And I'd love this with a bit of garlicky sauteed kale. Have been trying to cook a bit more with quinoa. Since recipes for it are cropping up everywhere, I don't think I'll have a very hard time!

Anonymous said...

Hello from Canada. I am a 17 year old girl who has a passion for baking and I just looked through all your post about cupcakes. I absolutely love all of them.
I was wondering if you can recommend me any recipes that are your favourite. I've been asked to make cupcakes for a wedding and I hate the trial and error process. I would like a cake that is unique, yet very moist and tasty. Are there any asian flavour cupcakes you recommend? The bride is asian and her family would appreciate it.

If you could email me back at, i would really appreciate it.

Unplanned Cooking said...

I admire that you still cook when he's gone. That's one of my resolutions -- to cook dinner regardless of whether my husband makes it to the table.

Sharon said...

I'm not good at cooking for one but with some upcoming business trips looks like i'll have to! Thanks for my first solo-dining recipe :)

Michelle said...

I was all set with my comment about my fear of risotto...not eating it but making it. Risotto and I have not had a good relationsship. But was surprised to see it's made with quinoa and not rice..NOW that I can do! Looks delish!

Faith said...

coincidentally, last night I bought my first arborio rice at the Wedge, wanting to try making risotto. I was expecting your recipe to be more like making risotto, where you stir and add liquid etc several times, only with quinoa. I wonder if someone did it like that, if quinoa would get a bit creamier? guess I'll have to try it. I do like quinoa but it's no risotto.............:)

Lori said...

I like the addition of red wine. I just love quinoa so I am quite sure this would be a great dish.

Shaheen said...

Hello from Scotland.
I'm still trying to find a liking for quinoa. But this does look rather good.

grace said...

quinoa is so neat and nutritious, and i've never seen it used in a risotto-type creation. i'm sure it behaves marvelously--great recipe!

Deborah said...

Must be good if you want to make it again! I've never seen this done before and find it intriguing.

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