Today I went to the Guggenheim to see the Chaos & Classicism show before it closes on Sunday. (It was really enjoyable for all you fellow Neue Sachlichkeit enthusiasts wondering out there…) Anyway, naive me thought it would be less crowded because of the weekday and the snow. Nope. In the crush of severely absent-minded people manned with audio tour thingies, I somehow found myself being propelled into Cafe 3. I went with it just to take a look at the lunch menu and saw that the one vegetarian option was a mushroom + greens sandwich. I didn’t get it, but it did get me thinking about mushrooms as a main course, and why so many museum cafes tend to stock this option all the time. (Probably because it’s easy and less expensive.) BA’s recommendation for tonight is a Bulgur Pilaf, but we’re going with a mushroom pilaf instead, as an homage to hoity-toity cafeteria food everywhere.
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil, separated
3/4 cup brown rice (or rice of your choosing)
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup white mushrooms, washed and chopped
1/2 cup kale, rinsed and shredded
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
pepper to taste
Start by mincing the garlic and onion and sauteing them in a medium-to-large soup pot or saucepan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. After about 2 minutes, mix in the ginger. Stir in the dry rice and coat with the onion/garlic mixture. Then pour the water and broth into the pot and bring to a boil while covered. Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer, covered, for about 40 minutes or until the water evaporates.
Meanwhile prepare the mushrooms by patting the excess dirt off them with a damp paper towel. Slice into small pieces. Rinse the kale and rip it into bite-size pieces. When the rice mixture is about 10 minutes from finishing, start to saute the kale and mushrooms in a preheated pan with the last teaspoon (or so) of olive oil. Mix in a tablespoon of spicy brown mustard and a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar for added flavor.
When the rice is ready mix in the mushroom/kale mixture, season with pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
Alternate Fast Version: Cook Minute Rice with the broth, and saute all the vegetables together in one pan with the oil, mustard, and balsamic vinegar. Combine. Eat. (I only had the long-cooking rice tonight, hence the long periods of simmering.)
It’s been a long week, so I’ll leave you with that. Happy Friday!