Eating with the seasons

by Peachy Palate on April 17, 2012

I do my best to eat with the seasons and it’s something I’m becoming more conscious of as I choose to buy fresh fruit and vegetables from The Happy Pear. The only out of season craving I simply can’t curb is for cherries! I did stumble upon a small 200g punnet in the grocery store the other day priced at 6.99….even I’m not that crazy! (though I will admit I did momentarily consider purchasing them!)

There are a few fantastic things about eating what’s in season…

  • It’s cheaper
  • The food tastes amazing
  • Environmentally friendly (even if it’s not grown locally, the closer the home to better!)
  • For the variety (less chance of getting stuck in a food rut!)

At the moment I’m loving asparagus. I’ve gone through three good size punches in the space of about ten days! Roasted, steamed…it just tastes incredible at the moment. One of the most delicious dishes I’ve put together was this amazing quinoa, shitake mushroom and asparagus pilaf. I served it warm topped off with walnuts and fresh parsley but it would be equally delicious served cold as a salad.

The dish was inspired by Emily’s Asparagus and Mushroom Quinoa Risotto. I went for a drier pilaf like finish. The walnuts were a wonderful addition providing a fantastic bit of texture, bestowing their wonderfully savoury distinct flavour to the soft and fluffy quinoa mix.

I went for the easy option of blanching the asparagus to save on time. All the components were actually cooked separately and mixed back together in a pot, seasoned and heat through and brought together with some freshly squeezed lemon juice and little zest.

The combination of the mushrooms and asparagus was beautiful. The whole dish was simply delicious and fresh. It frankly wouldn’t have been anywhere near as incredible had it not been for the shitake mushrooms. Buttons or chestnuts just wouldn’t cut it!

I can see myself making this pretty darn soon, I shall be stocking up on asparagus once again especially while it’s still half price; why not milk it!

What’s your favourite asparagus recipe?

Do you try and eat with the seasons?

Vegan Asparagus & Shitake Mushroom Quinoa Pilaf

Print this easy peasy recipe Print this easy peasy recipe

Servings –1

Preparation Time – 5 minutes

Cooking Time – 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 60g (1/4 cup) quinoa
  • 250ml (1 cup) vegetable broth
  • 8 – 10 stalks of asparagus cut in three
  • 1/2 cup shitake mushrooms
  • 3 spring onions finely diced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Cover quinoa with vegetable broth. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile place 1 tsp of olive oil and mushrooms in to a pan with spring onions and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Drop asparagus in to a pot of boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes (depending on your own preference).
  4. Add quinoa and asparagus to pan that contains the mushrooms. Add in lemon juice, zest, season with salt and pepper, add the additional tsp of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes to heat everything through.
  5. Serve topped with fresh parsley.

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