If you haven’t yet become totally disgusted with the “wide” array of kosher for Passover food yet, chances are you’re just about to hit your breaking point, and we’re only five days in. We haven’t even gone through one full box of matzah in my house yet and I already don’t want to see the stuff for another full year.
If there’s one saving grace of the modern observance of Passover, it’s the addition of quinoa to the list of permitted foods (why this wasn’t allowed 5 years ago is really beyond me, but that’s a discussion for another time). There is a lot that you can do with this versatile grain, and I thought attempting to have it mimic risotto was worth a shot.
Though I don’t make it that often because of the time consuming nature of this dish, this mushroom risotto recipe is one of my favourites. The challenge with risotto is not in the difficulty level of the actual recipe, but rather the fact that it is labour intensive – you literally have to keep the risotto moving the entire time you’re cooking it, otherwise it will bubble and burn.
I used the same premise in cooking the quinoa for this Passover rendition of mushroom risotto, rather than boiling the quinoa, and it lent itself to a much creamier end product.
The only real difference between the two recipes is that actual risotto, or arborio rice, seems to need slightly less stock than the quinoa did (otherwise the quinoa was a little too al dente for my liking). I also LOVE to include some truffle oil in the year-round version, but there is some confusion over whether or not truffle oil is kosher for Passover, so I just left it out.
If your arms are in good shape and can handle a half hour or so of constant stirring, I definitely recommend adding this to both your Passover and every day dinner repertoire.
Enjoy and chag sameach!
Creamy Passover Mushroom Risotto
Makes about 6 -8 servings
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
15 – 20 cremini mushrooms, cut into chunks
2 portobello mushrooms, cut into chunks
1 large oyster mushroom, cut
3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
2 cups uncooked quinoa (or 1 1/2 cups uncooked arborio rice for the Sephardim or those making this during the year)
6 – 8+ cups (mock) chicken or vegetable stock (this doesn’t need to be exact as you may need more or less depending on how al dente you like your rice/quinoa)
1/2 cup grated light parmesan cheese, plus more to finish (or shredded to finish)
1 – 2 tbsp salted butter, if desired (I usually leave it out)
salt and pepper to taste
1 -2 green onions, chopped (optional)
truffle oil to taste (optional)
- In a medium saucepan, heat chicken or vegetable stock until warm, and reduce heat to low. Be prepared with about 8 cups of stock, though you may not use it all.
- Using a large wok, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once heated, add in all of the mushrooms, and cook on medium heat until mushrooms produce some juice, about 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl, including the juices.
- Return wok to element, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, add in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant and slightly browned, about 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add in (dry) quinoa (or risotto, depending on which one you’re using), and cook until golden, stirring constantly, about 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add in the white wine, and stir constantly until liquid is almost entirely absorbed. Once wine is absorbed, add in about 3/4 to 1 cup of stock to wok, and stir constantly until absorbed.
- Repeat this process of adding in stock as quinoa (or risotto) expands and begins to take on a creamy texture. DO NOT FORGET TO CONTINUE STIRRING!!! After adding about 5 – 6 cups of stock, taste risotto to see if it has reached a texture you’re happy with. If it is too al dente, continue adding stock, now at about 1/2 cup at a time. Be sure not to add more stock until all stock currently in the wok is absorbed.
- Once you are happy with the texture, turn element off and add in mushrooms and their juices. Stir to combine, add in parmesan cheese, butter if you are using it, and salt and pepper to taste. Once combined, add in the green onions and truffle oil (again, if you’re using them). Stir once more, and serve topped with shredded or grated cheese.