Wild Rice & Mushroom Casserole

This hearty vegetarian main course casserole would be a lovely option to serve vegetarian guests during the holidays. We ate it as a cozy winter meal with roasted broccoli and green salad.

The puréed beans add creaminess to the filling. After reading comments about this recipe online, I was apprehensive to include all of the bean liquid required in the original recipe because others had complained that the final consistency was mushy. I only used half of a cup but next time I would include 1 cup or even additional liquid (noted below).

This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I substituted celery for fennel, added a chipotle chile, used mixed baby greens, and reduced the breadcrumbs, beans, liquid, and baking time. It was the ultimate dish to utilize my brand new giant 14-inch skillet. Yay! The vegetables could be cooked in batches if using a smaller pan, of course.

Yield: 12 servings

  • 2 ¼ cups vegetable, mushroom or chicken stock
  • coarse salt
  • 1 ¼ cups wild rice, rinsed
  • 9 t0 10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed
  • 24 oz sliced mushrooms, preferably a mix of different kinds (I used cremini mushrooms.)
  • 3 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery heart or 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and chopped
  • 5 ounces mixed baby kale, chard, and spinach
  • 7 fat garlic cloves (4 chopped, 3 finely grated or crushed into a paste)
  • ½ tablespoon tomato paste
  • teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • (14-ounce) cans white beans, strained with liquid reserved (I used cannellini beans.)
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce (about 2 tsp)
  • tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • cup chopped fresh cilantro (or basil)
  • cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/4 cups panko or coarse bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese, optional
  1. Taste broth; if bland, season to taste with salt. In a medium pot, bring broth to a boil over high heat. Stir in rice, lower heat, cover and simmer until just tender, about 1 hour, or according to package directions. Fluff rice with a fork, cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté vegetables: In a large, heavy skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until brown and crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes. (If using a smaller pan, cook in batches, adding oil if necessary.)
  3. Adjust heat as needed to prevent burning. Transfer cooked mushrooms to a plate and sprinkle lightly with salt.
  4. In the empty skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Stir in leeks, fennel/celery and 1 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, about 8 minutes.
  5. Stir in baby greens, chopped garlic, tomato paste and red pepper flakes, and cook until garlic starts turning golden, another 2 minutes. Remove skillet from heat.
  6. Heat oven to 400 degrees, and oil a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. (I used cooking oil spray.)
  7. In a blender, purée 2 cans beans with 1/2 cup to 1 cup of the reserved liquid, chipotle, lemon juice, 1 grated garlic clove, and salt to taste. (I used a Vitamix.)
  8. Stir bean purée, remaining whole beans (drained), mushrooms, cilantro, parsley and cooked wild rice into skillet with vegetables. Taste and add more salt or lemon as needed; it should be well seasoned. Add additional bean liquid, if necessary, in order to achieve desired consistency. Scrape into prepared baking dish.
  9. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs, rosemary, lemon zest, remaining 2 grated garlic cloves and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in 1/4 cup olive oil and Parmesan, if using.
  10. Sprinkle evenly on top of casserole and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
Note: To make part of this recipe in advance, assemble casserole and prepare topping (separately) up to 24 hours ahead. Refrigerate, covered, in separate containers. Just before baking, spread breadcrumb topping evenly over the casserole. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until heated through and topping is golden, another 20 to 30 minutes.

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Pork Chile Verde

As I love sharing recipes, I am also thrilled when someone shares a recipe with me! 🙂 My son’s swimming coach texted me the link to this wonderful dish after she made it for her family. What fun! She knew we would enjoy it too.

This recipe was adapted from Today.com, contributed by Padma Lakshmi. I doubled the garlic, reduced the pork, used large onions, and seeded the jalapeños. We ate it over brown Basmati rice with cornbread on the side. Full-flavored and absolutely fabulous!

Yield: Serves 6

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and quartered
  • 2 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 4 jalapeños, seeded
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, divided
  • 2 large yellow onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 to 1/2 pounds ground pork
  • 1 shot tequila, preferably Alejo
  • 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lime, juiced, optional
  • rice, for serving, optional
  1. In a blender (I used a Vitamix), combine the tomatillos, avocados, jalapeños, four cloves of garlic, cilantro, lime juice, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds and 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar. Puree until smooth. (Side note: This makes a great salsa verde sauce on its own; you may want to buy double the ingredients and use the extra as a dipping sauce for other savory treats!)
  2. In a heavy soup pot, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Slice remaining four cloves of the garlic in half, and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the onions, oregano, cumin, remaining sesame seeds and red pepper flakes, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until onions are translucent.
  4. Add the ground pork and cook until no longer pink, about 6 minutes.
  5. Add in the shot of tequila.
  6. Add the tomatillo sauce, beans and water or stock to the pork mixture.
  7. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.
  8. Stir in the lime juice just before serving, if desired.

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Roasted Cauliflower & White Bean Dip

IMG_5080

I made this dip as a hummus alternative. It was tasty– but we all prefer hummus! 🙂 This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food. I added hot chicken stock to the cauliflower and bean puree to make the consistency more creamy. I also added parsley, spices, and additional lemon juice to give the dip more zesty flavor. We ate it with veggies and pita chips but it would be good as a sandwich spread as well.

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup hot chicken stock
  • large handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • paprika, cumin, & cayenne pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss cauliflower and garlic with 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until cauliflower is tender and browned, 25 to 30 minutes. When garlic is cool enough to handle, remove peel.
  2. In a food processor, combine cauliflower, garlic, beans, 1 tablespoon oil, lemon zest and juice, and 1/2 to 3/4 cups hot stock, until desired consistency is achieved. Process until smooth. Add parsley and spices; season to taste with salt and pepper. (To store, refrigerate in an airtight container, up to 3 days.) Serve drizzled with oil.

Cannellini Beans with Cabbage and Pasta

Cannellini Bean & Cabbage Pasta

No more coleslaw! I got SO MUCH cabbage in my CSA box last season. We ate a lot of coleslaw and sautéed cabbage with potstickers. Admittedly, this dish is very uniform in color- but it was a DELICIOUS dish- I will make it next time cabbage shows up in my box! This recipe is from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food by Mark Bittman. I used extra leeks, and substituted chicken stock for the vegetable stock.

Yield: 4 servings

  • salt
  • 1/2 head cabbage, preferably Savoy, cored and chopped
  • 1/2 pound cavatelli, conchiglie, or orecchiette
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 1 large or 2 medium leeks, including some green parts, washed and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 2 springs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (or chicken stock)(must be FLAVORFUL!)
  • 3 cups cooked or canned cannellini beans, drained but still moist
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated Parmesan of pecorino Romano cheese for garnish
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the cabbage and cook for about 3 minutes, until just tender; use a slotted spoon or a small strainer to fish it out; drain and set aside. When the water returns to a boil, add the pasta and cook until tender but firm, 7 minutes or so, then drain it.
  2. Meanwhile, put the oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot or the butter is melted, add the leeks and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, and the wine if you’re using it, and cook for another minute, until almost dry. Add the stock, beans, and reserved cabbage. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until the flavors blend and everything is well heated, about 5 minutes more.
  3. Combine the bean mixture and the pasta in the large pot and stir gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning, sprinkle with Parmesan, and serve.

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