Not just your average veggie muffin, these quinoa vegetable muffins use carrots, parsnips, zucchini, quinoa, and gruyere cheese to give a distinct nutty character. Pairing with the mushroom mustard sauce and salad, we have a complex and tasty vegetarian meal.
Muffins are a very loosely defined baked good item. They can be huge, and they can be petite. They can be delicious, but so often, they are unfortunately bland. And then there are the sweet ones and the savoury ones. Like sausage rolls, I will often buy a savoury muffin in the hope it is one of the good ones and lives up to my expectations. And like sausage rolls, I am usually disappointed. The best solution to such a dilemma is, of course, to make your own. The quinoa vegetable muffins did not disappoint. Incredible on their own, and even better when still warm and served with the mushroom mustard sauce.
It’s all about the sauce, says some culinary wisdom. This mushroom mustard sauce doesn’t disappoint. A good sauce needs a good stock. Don’t resort to the store-bought variety. It is so easy to make your own vegetable stock. It tastes so much better and doesn’t add a lot more time.
Use the mushrooms common in your locality. You can’t go wrong with cremini or portobello mushrooms. I used a mix of fresh shiitake and button mushrooms. So much of the character of this sauce comes from the mushrooms you choose.
An interesting variation for the muffins is to use yeast as the leavening agent. While taking a little longer, it generates a hint of that wonderful freshly cooked bread aroma.
Quinoa and vegetable muffins. Mushroom mustard sauce
- 2 leeks
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 3 stalks of celery
- Trimmings from the mushrooms
- 10 g butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 litre water
- 4 medium carrots
- 4 medium parsnips
- 2 large zucchinis
- 2 large red peppers
- 1 onion
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa I used red quinoa
- 200 g gruyere cheese grated
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 cup veggie stock
- 1/2 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped button mushrooms or portobello mushrooms
- 150 g enoki mushrooms
- 20 g Butter
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 150 ml cooking cream
- 2 Tbsp Flour
- 2 Tbsp Whole grain mustard
- 1 cup enoki mushrooms or other small decorative mushrooms
- 10 g butter
To make the vege stock…
- Clean and roughly chop the leeks, onion, carrot, and celery stalks.
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter and add the olive oil.
- Saute the chopped vegetables until fragrant, about 10 minutes.
- Add the water, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- While simmering, add the stalks from the mushrooms.
- Simmer for 1 hour.
- Strain the stock, discarding the vegetables.
While the veggie stock is simmering…
- Cut off stalk clump from the enoki mushrooms and discard. Cut off the heads and about 2cm of stalk, and reserve for the garnish. Add the rest of the stalks to the other mushrooms.
- Wash the other mushrooms, remove stalks and add the stalks to the stock. Slice up the mushrooms.
- Peel the carrots and parsnips and grate.
- Grate the zucchini.
- Put the grated carrots, parsnips, and zucchini into a colander, sprinkle with a tsp salt, and allow to drain for 30 minutes.
- Whisk the eggs and self raising flour and set aside in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or so.
- Trim and finely dice the red peppers.
- Finely dice the onion.
- Squeeze any remaining moisture out of the grated zucchini, carrot, and parsnip.
- In a large bowl, gently combine grated vegetables, red peppers, onion, quinoa, grated gruyere cheese, egg mixture, and salt.
- Distribute into large muffin tins.
- Bake at 180 degC for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
For the sauce…
- Melt the butter with the olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms (excluding the enoki mushroom heads) and saute for 10 minutes. They will reduce in size quite a bit.
- Sprinkle over the flour and stir. It should form a roux with the oil and juices from the mushrooms.
- Cook the roux for 5 minutes.
- Slowly add vegetable stock until you get to a good sauce consistency (it coats the back of a spoon).
- Add the cream and mustard, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Saute the enoki mushrooms heads in butter until starting to brown. Drain on paper towels.