If you watch The Kitchen on Food Network, you might have come across a tip from Sunny Anderson about a substitute for ultra pricey saffron threads. Mix turmeric and paprika together, she said, and you get the same color and taste. I’m not convinced that the flavor is the same but rice cooked with turmeric and paprika is beautiful and aromatic. As I’ve said before, if you add color to your rice, better add flavor too. Try it topped with lemon garlic mushrooms and you have a light meal that’s packed with colors and flavors.
I made this lemon garlic mushrooms over mock saffron rice primarily for Sam but there was enough to be shared by all four of us. Even Alex who seems to wilt over meatless dishes devoured the vegan dish with relish. Want to try making it? It’s easy. But you do need fresh everything—carrot, onion, celery, lemon, garlic and mushrooms. No canned mushrooms, please, and no frozen vegetables either.
- 2 tablespoons butter , divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped celery
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped carrot
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 2 cups baby button mushrooms
- salt and pepper to taste
- juice of 1/2 to 3/4 lemon
Heat one tablespoon of butter and the olive oil in a pan.
Over medium heat, saute the celery, carrot, onion and garlic until softened.
Add the mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir.
Cover the pan, lower the heat and cook everything for about ten minutes.
Off the heat, squeeze the juice of half a lemon directly over the dish. Add the remaining butter and swirl the pan around to blend the flavors.
Taste the lemon garlic mushrooms and add more lemon juice, salt and pepper, as needed.
Serve over mock saffron rice.
For the mock saffron rice, cook 1 and 1/2 cups of rice with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1/2 teaspoon paprika.