Lemony Mushroom Quinoa with Chilli Almonds

4 or more as a side dish



Lemony Mushroom Quinoa

  • 185g (1 cup) quinoa, soaked overnight in cold water if possible
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped thyme
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 500g Swiss brown or button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • Big handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


Chilli Almonds

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 65g (1/2 cup) slivered almonds
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • Good pinch of sea salt



Mushrooms are one of the easiest ways to add a good dose of flavour to any dish – their natural umami characteristic gives such depth and richness to even the simplest of ingredients. Here I’ve cooked down finely chopped mushroom with a few of its favourite things – olive oil, garlic, thyme and lemon – before tossing through cooked quinoa and sprinkling with crunchy chilli almonds. If you’re not a huge chilli fan, scale the amount back to just a pinch. And if you’re a fried egg on everything kinda person, this is the perfect place to do just that.

Drain quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse well. Bring 250ml (1 cup) water to the boil – increase to 375ml (1 1/2 cups) if using unsoaked – in a small saucepan before adding the quinoa, covering with a lid and reducing heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 10–12 minutes until the water has been absorbed and quinoa is tender. Remove from heat, leave lid on and set aside to steam for a further 5 minutes before fluffing up with a fork.

To make chilli almonds, heat olive oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add almonds and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until lovely and golden. Remove from heat and stir in chilli flakes and salt. Set aside to cool briefly before serving. Any leftovers will store airtight for 1 week.

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, thyme, lemon zest and finely chopped mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, for 8–10 minutes or until most of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated and the mixture is relatively dry. Add quinoa and stir well. Check seasoning, squeeze over lemon juice and stir in parsley. Serve topped with a handful of chilli almonds.


Wine match, 2015 Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Riesling

With bold flavours and richness, this Riesling is a winner this season.
With citrus and ginger characters, this rich style Riesling will match beautifully with the lemony quinoa and chilli heat.