My firstborn, Sam, went vegetarian for a few years and, the first few weeks that I attempted to cook meatless dishes for her, I wanted to bang my head against the wall.
Having been mostly carnivorous all our lives, to say it wasn’t easy would be a huge understatement. It was hard. It took me months to understand what makes a meatless meal appetizing but, eventually, I got the hang of it.
Sam is off the vegetarian diet (she eats poultry and seafood now, but still no mammals) but there are meatless dishes I cooked in the past that I don’t mind making again. As side dishes, mostly. This lemon garlic mushrooms over mock saffron rice is one of them.
Why mock saffron rice? Because turmeric and paprika were substituted for the ultra-pricey saffron.
- 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.