Tag Archives: fresh thyme

Farro Risotto with Mushroom Medley

by Miyoko Schinner author of  Artisan Vegan Cheese and the The New Now and Zen Epicure.

Farro RisottoServes 6                                    Time: 1 hour

I love farro in place of rice or in salads and soups, but I especially love it as risotto when combined with the earthiness of mushrooms. Whenever I teach this dish, people marvel at how such rich, complex flavors come together so easily.

Start with:
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water

Mushroom Medley Ingredients:
8 cups sliced mushrooms, such as shiitake, crimini, button, portobello, oyster, king trumpet (a variety of different mushrooms is best)
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
2 cloves garlic, minced

Farro Ingredients:
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups farro
5 cups mushroom stock
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary


1. Soak the porcini mushrooms in hot water for about 20 minutes.

2. Put all of the mushroom medley ingredients in a large skillet. Cover and set over a medium flame, allowing the mushrooms to cook for several minutes until juices have exuded and they have shrunk slightly. Then remove the lid and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the mushrooms are dark brown.

3. Sauté the onions and garlic in a small amount of water or stock for about 5 to 7 minutes, until tender.

4. Add the farro and cook for another 5 or so minutes. Add one cup of mushroom broth and stir every couple of minutes while simmering.

5. When the liquid has mostly been absorbed, stir in an additional cup of stock. Continue stirring in stock one cup at a time, until you have added a total of 3 to 4 cups. Now, add the porcini mushrooms along with their soaking liquid. Stir and simmer until liquid is absorbed.

6. Add the final cup of broth, thyme, rosemary, and the remaining prepared mushrooms, and simmer until the farro is tender but retains some bite – the total cooking time will be approximately 30 to 40 minutes.


The UnBird

by Miyoko Schinner

Watch this recipe being made on Delicious TV’s Vegan Mashup.

Creamy, roasted winter veggies all dressed up in a playful, sculptured “bird” form make a presentation that’s guaranteed to wow your guests. And it’s yummy to boot!

Roast the vegetables:

 3 cups peeled and large-diced butternut squash

3 cups brussels sprouts, cut in half

3 cups mushrooms, cut in half

1 delicata squash, cut in half, seeds removed, and sliced

2 cups sliced fennel

3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Spread the vegetables in one layer on a baking sheet or cookie pan, using as many pans as necessary so they are not piled up. It is best to bake each of the vegetables on separate pans, as cooking times may differ, but if you need to combine them, cook the squashes and brussel sprouts together, and the mushrooms and fennel together (as they have similar cooking times). Sprinkle the veggies with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, and toss to mix thoroughly. Roast for 20 – 30 minutes until they are beautifully browned. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, prepare the white wine sauce:

 1 tablespoon oil

½ cup minced shallots

1 ½ cups dry white wine

½ cup raw cashews

1 ½ cups water

1 tablespoon each minced fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage

salt and pepper to taste

 In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the shallots and saute over low heat until translucent. Add the wine, turn up the heat to medium high, and simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced by two-thirds to concentrate the flavor. Make the cashew cream: combine the cashews and water in a blender and process until creamy (if you are not using a high-speed blender, it is best to soak the cashews in water for 3 – 8 hours to soften them a bit. Drain and discard the soaking liquid). Add the cashew cream to the wine-shallot mixture in the saucepan, and over medium heat, cook until thick, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Add the herbs, season with salt and pepper, and cook for another minute. Pour the sauce over the vegetables in the bowl and mix well to combine.

Assemble the UnBird:

 The vegetable-sauce mixture above

8 ounces filo dough, thawed according to package instructions

Non-stick spray or olive oil for brushing

1 crookneck squash for “neck and head” of UnBird

 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Roll out the filo dough on a clean, dry towel. Put one sheet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spray the filo sheet with non-stick spray, or brush lightly with olive oil. Place another sheet of filo on top, and spray with non-stick spray or brush with oil. Repeat with another 4 – 5 sheets of filo, for a total of 6 – 7 sheets of filo. Put the vegetable-sauce filling in the middle of the filo and pile it up as high as you can. Fold both sides of the filo sheets over the vegetables to encase it completely. Hold both sides of the unbird and try to squeeze it up higher to replicate the shape of a bird. Close up one end by pinching the filo together. Leave the other end slightly open. Bake for about 30 – 40 minutes until golden brown.

 Meanwhile, make the tail feathers and wings from the remaining filo. Stack 5 – 6 layers of filo, spraying with non-stick spray or brushing with oil, between every layer. Using a sharp knife or a pair of scissors, cut through the stack to form two sets of wings about 6-inches long. Cut an isoscoles triangle with a wide base from one corner of the filo, then cut “feathers” by cutting slits down two sides of the triangle. Place the wings and tail feathers carefully on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 – 20 minutes until browned (they cook faster than the body of the UnBird).

 When the Unbird is ready, transfer very carefully to a serving platter. Lean the wings up along the sides, and the tail feathers along the closed end of the bird. Stick the crookneck squash into the slightly opened end of the bird to form a neck and head. Serve immediately.