Vegetarian mushroom, spinach and quinoa risotto with oven-poached eggs – a hearty and healthy meal that screams ‘comfort’.
Regular readers may have noticed that I haven’t been updating the blog as frequently of late. This is partly due to the fact that I have been swamped with freelance work and partly due to a grey cloud of misery that has settled over me. Not sure why I have been in such a funk, but it has left me feeling uninspired and dejected. I am trying to jumpstart my creative juices by enrolling in a couple of courses and poring over cookbooks old and new. One of these is The Australian Women’s Weekly Everyday Vegetarian, which comes at nearly 500 pages so that would be a ton of inspiration! Quite fitting seeing as it is National Vegetarian week too – I am determined to add more and more vegetarian recipes to my repertoire.
This mushroom, spinach and quinoa risotto with oven-poached eggs is adapted from the Everyday Vegetarian and easily one of my new favourite lunches. It is filling, comforting, healthy, and just perfect for this rainy weather we have been ‘enjoying’ lately. There’s hundreds more amazing recipes in this book and all of them boast the ‘triple tested’ seal of the Australian’s Womens Weekly test kitchen. But a major reason I love their books and magazine (I subscribed this Christmas) so much is the beautiful photography and styling – whenever I am lacking in photography mojo I will sit down and leaf through them.
The recipe calls for poached eggs and much I as love poached eggs, I am pretty useless at making them. So I have resorted to the oven-poaching method here and it is just so much easier. Simply pour a tablespoon of water into a muffin tin and slide an egg in. Bake at 180C (350F) for around 11 minutes and, voila!, perfectly poached eggs without the hassle. Be careful though as they can go from funny yolks to set really quickly so if you prefer your yolks runny, set a timer to 11 minutes.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 130g | 4½oz oyster mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 130g | 4½oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 100g | 3½ oz button chestnut mushrooms, halved
- 200g | 7oz quinoa (I used white, black & red quinoa)
- 1.25 litres (5 cups) hot vegetable stock
- 100g | 3½ oz fresh spinach
- 60g | 2oz grated hard cheese such as Grana Padano (check it is vegetarian)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- salt and pepper to season
- 4 large eggs + 4 tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and add four tablespoons water directly in the holes of a standar muffin tin.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick casserole pan and sweat the onion over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
- Add a pinch of salt, the garlic and mushrooms. Fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring, until the mushrooms are nicely coloured.
- Stir in the quinoa, stock and thyme and simmer for 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked through.
- Add the spinach, stir it through the risotto and then cover the pan so that it wilts.
- While the quinoa is cooking, break the eggs, one at a time, in a small bowl then side into the prepared muffin tin holes. You want some water to cover the top of the eggs.
- Cook for 11 minutes until the whites are set but yolks are still runny (cook longer if you prefer the yolks to be cooked through). Carefully remove from the muffin tin using a spoon.
- Divide the risotto between four bowls and sprinkle with the cheese and parsley. Nestle an egg over the top and season with salt and pepper to taste.
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