janet @ the taste space

Caramelized Fennel and Mushroom Quinoa Salad

In Mains (Vegetarian), Salads on October 3, 2015 at 7:07 AM

Caramelized Fennel and Mushroom Quinoa Salad

So, I don’t know if you remember our car fiasco from last year. The time when our car broke down en route to Toronto, the day before starting my first day at work. It was due to an electrical problem and we eventually drove it into the ground, necessitating being towed to the dealer for a paltry trade-in value.

We bought a new fuel-efficient car and figured we were all set.

Less than a year later, we had a “gas cap” alert go off. Rob stops on the side of the 427 to make sure it was closed. It was. I check the manual what to do in this situation. It said to turn off the car, retighten the gas cap and drive around for a few days. The alert would turn off. A few days later, it did.

But then, a few days later, the check engine light comes on. Weird. No need for oil, we weren’t sure what was up. We brought it in for a check-up. By the end of the day, they still haven’t figured out the problem. A vapour leak, the system tells them.

We bring the car back the next business day and they trace the fuel line. To their surprise (and ours), there was a nest made out of leaves in the underside of the car. And whoever made the nest decided to munch through our fuel line, causing a vapour leak.

With a bit of investigation, it turn out that the new environmentally friendly insulation used in cars is made form soy and once animals kind out, they snack on it. Poor car. 😦

Hopefully the newly installed capsaicin-infused tape will keep away any further nibbles.

And in case you are here for the recipe (and not my life adventures), this salad was excellent. Asian-inspired with tamari, rice wine vinegar and green onions, the quinoa salad has mushrooms and caramelized fennel for a fun autumn flare.

Other dishes you may enjoy:

Quinoa with Caramelized Onions and Zucchini 

Caramelized Fennel and Quinoa Salad with Cilantro and Dill

Basmati Rice Pilad with Caramelized Onions and Broccoli

Caramelized Fennel and Mushroom Quinoa Salad

I am sharing this with Meat Free Mondays.

Caramelized Fennel and Mushroom Quinoa Salad
Adapted from the LA Times

1/2 cup dry quinoa, well rinsed and drained
scant 1 cup water or broth
1 tbsp coconut oil (sesame oil would be nice here, too)
5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups thinly sliced fennel (half a large bulb)
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (I used cremini but shiitakes would be great here)
3/4 cup sliced green onions, both white and green parts (about 1 small bunch)
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
4 tbsp minced fresh cilantro

1. Prepare your quinoa: Bring vegetable broth to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, add quinoa. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Keep covered for an additional 5 minutes to steam. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the oil. Once hot, add the garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, until golden, around 30 seconds. Remove garlic, leaving the oil in the skillet, and set aside.

3. Add the skillet back to the heat. Add the fennel, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or  until caramelized. Add the green onions and mushrooms and continue to saute for 1-2 minutes, until the green onions wilt. Stir in the soy sauce and vinegar and toss to coat. Remove from heat.

4. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, garlic, and mushroom mixture. Stir in the zest and juice from the lime and the cilantro. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve warm.

Serves 2-4.

  1. Just finished making this. I left out the garlic , but everything else was same as what was called for in the recipe. It taste great! And came together so quickly . I would definitely make this again . Thanks for sharing

  2. The salad sounds divine. Love the thought of combining mushrooms and fennel with quinoa. I’ll have to get my hands on some fennel.
    A critter ate your car?!

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: