Food & Wine Pairing Recipe of the Week – Quinoa, mushroom and thyme risotto

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During winter we are all in need of a little boost to the immune system. This week we are serving up Quinoa – a superfood rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. This hearty and healthy recipe is so easy to make and can be whipped up in under 45 minutes. We recommend Central Otago Wild Thyme of course!

Quinoa, Mushroom and Thyme Risotto

Quinoa, Mushroom and Thyme Risotto

Quinoa, Mushroom and Thyme Risotto


  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 15 (about 200g) button mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1L (4 cups) salt-reduced chicken stock
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 175g arborio rice
  • 100g quinoa
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 80g (1/2 cup) frozen Peas
  • 70g (1 cup) finely grated parmesan
  • 50g baby rocket leaves
  • 1 lemon, juiced


Heat half the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Stir in mushroom for 5 minutes or until brown. Transfer to a bowl.

While your mushrooms are cooking, place the stock in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and hold at a gentle simmer.

Heat remaining oil in frying pan over medium heat. Stir in leek and garlic for 3-4 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add your cooked mushroom, rice, quinoa and thyme. Stir to coat evenly and looking glossy.

Add 80ml (1/3 cup) of the stock to the rice mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed. Add the stock, 80ml (1/3 cup) at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more stock. Continue for 20 minutes, adding the peas halfway through cooking, until the liquid is absorbed and quinoa and rice are tender. Stir in the parmesan and season. This is the hands on part of this recipe but even sturing throughout the cooking process will give you a smooth creamy risotto.

Combine the rocket and lemon juice in a bowl. Divide the risotto among serving bowls and top with the rocket mixture.

Serves 4

Wine Pairing – Bald Hills Pigeon Rocks Central Otago Pinot Gris 2010

The smokiness of the thyme in this risotto makes it the perfect match for our 2010 Pinot Gris. The light herby and citrus flavours of the wine, together with a taste of apple and peach  enhance  the rocket and lemon elements in this dish. Divine!