Mushroom risotto with quinoa | A mushroom and quinoa recipe

A mixture of wild mushrooms and boiled quinoa without any added starch – that’s how I’ve always thought to cook rice. But to actually get rice that is pretty even, tender and isn’t broken in the middle – the perfect risotto – that takes a lot of work. The key is to cook your risotto long enough that the rice cooks without breaking and the quinoa is cooked past most of its starch, and the smell is delicious.

Mushroom risotto with quinoa | A mushroom and quinoa recipe | From the kitchen of the Scottish chef Mark McEwan Read more

A few long days

Cook the quinoa in a hot pan with a teaspoon or two of olive oil, until it starts to wilt and turn golden brown. If there is too much oil in the pan, put the pan off the heat and make sure the quinoa is drained.

Once the quinoa is cooked, add about a quarter of the mushrooms to the pan, blitzed until they are fine but not powdery. Soak the mushrooms for a few minutes to ensure they are well coated.

Cook the rice with the quinoa in the remaining oil. Be sure the rice is cooked through before adding any of the mushrooms. Continue to cook, stirring to make sure everything is evenly coated in butter, until you can start to hear the butter sliding on to the grains.

Watch the mushrooms carefully as you add more butter. They are incredibly sweet and tender – do not be tempted to scrape the bottom of the pan. It takes a few minutes more to brown and become crisp.

Tip the mushrooms back into the pan with any browned bits. Cover with a lid, and continue to cook until all of the butter has been incorporated into the risotto. If the risotto is too creamy, stir in a little more water or stock, but don’t add more than a teaspoon or two of water. Add a few whole Granny Smith apples from your head of kitchen orchard, and a few slivers of fresh mint.

This is one of the recipes from The Scottish Food Lover’s Companion by Mark McEwan (Hodder & Stoughton, £25). To order a copy for £23.49, go to or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99

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