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A Polish spin on the classic Italian dish, risotto. Made with millet instead of rice, this easy vegan recipe is laden with wild mushrooms for a decidedly autumnal dish. A perfect Meatless Monday or midweek dinner choice for the whole family.

 

A Polish spin on the classic Italian dish, risotto. Made with millet instead of rice, this easy vegan recipe is laden with wild mushrooms for a decidedly autumnal dish. A perfect Meatless Monday or midweek dinner choice for the whole family.Risotto is an oft-made and enjoyed dish in our house. Most especially on an autumn weekday evening, a candle glowing on my kitchen windowsill, and the cat curled up by the fire. A cosy meal for a cosy feeling.

Throughout the fall months and into winter I will make risotto variously with buckwheat, barley and rice, studding it with whatever I have handy – nobbly celeriac, a bright squash, shreds of beetroot, and of course mushrooms and garlic.

In her recently published cookbook, Wild Honey & Rye – modern Polish recipes, my friend and fellow food writer Ren Behan gives this traditional Italian comfort food an inventive Polish tweak – kaszotto. When I saw the beautiful earthy image accompanying the recipe I knew this was going to be the first recipe of hers to try. It was a triumph.A Polish spin on the classic Italian dish, risotto. Made with millet instead of rice, this easy vegan recipe is laden with wild mushrooms for a decidedly autumnal dish. A perfect Meatless Monday or midweek dinner choice for the whole family.I had never used millet before trying this recipe, but Andrew and I really enjoyed the taste and slightly unusual texture of this small yellow grain. It cooks easily and keeps its texture, holding up well to ladles of broth that are stirred in, as for an Italian risotto. I daresay you could add the stock in a one-er and pop it in the oven for a stir-free supper.

Recipe verdict: This cosy, satisfying dish is staying in our repertoire of easy weekday suppers, occasionally adding our own touches – flecks of goat’s cheese one time; sauteed tempeh another.

About the Author

English born, ex-criminal lawyer Renatka (Ren) was raised by her Polish emigree parents, absorbing their love of Poland and its wholesome and hearty cuisine. Her joy at getting creative in the kitchen for her young family led her from courtroom to keyboard as a popular blogger, accomplished food writer, photographer and food stylist, as well as an authority on Polish food.

A Polish spin on the classic Italian dish, risotto. Made with millet instead of rice, this easy vegan recipe is laden with wild mushrooms for a decidedly autumnal dish. A perfect Meatless Monday or midweek dinner choice for the whole family.About the Cookbook

In her debut cookbook, Ren goes beyond what the average person knows about Polish food – dumplings (pierogi), beetroot, hearty sausages, kasha (buckwheat) – and shows us its modern face.

Ren’s beautifully produced cookbook starts with “Reasons To Fall In Love With Polish Food”, “Changing Perceptions” and a practical guide to “The Polish Pantry”. Then it is straight to the recipes.

The book has a balance of meat, vegetarian and vegan recipes, relying on fresh and store cupboard ingredients easily found in either a supermarket or a typical Polish or Eastern European grocery-deli. In the UK we are very fortunate to have not only people of Polish origin living and working here but also sharing their food and food culture. You will find Polish stores in most average-size UK towns.

plum and poppyseed cake from wild honey & rye cookbook

I made this plum and poppyseed cake from wild honey & rye cookbook, by ren behan

Chapter Highlights

Sweet and Savoury Breakfasts – this chapter offers ideas for a healthy start to the day, including honey and rye loaf, millet porridge, fruit souffle omelette and Polish plum butter. As Polish rye bread is always so good I will definitely have a go at her title loaf.

Seasonal and Raw Salads – features a range of slaws, dressed cooked vegetables, grain salads and a beautiful Russian salad that is very different to anything sadly slumping in a carton or salad bar. I make a version of her Buckwheat and Beetroot Salad with Feta, Walnuts and Honey but will make her one for sure as these ingredients are winter favourites of mine.

Seasonal Soups and Market-Inspired Sides – from Polish Chicken Soup, Beetroot Soup(s!), and Sour Cucumber Soup, to the most beautiful Forest Mushroom Soup I’ve ever seen, I want to make all of the soups! As well as splendid sides, such as intriguing Apple Mashed Potatoes (she says it is perfect with meatballs, but I bet beanballs too) and Carrots with Honey and Star Anise.

Light Bites and Street Foods – small bites – “zakaski” – have been around at least since the 19th century, where tiny nibbles kept dancers going in the great ballrooms of Russia. Today nibbles and street food are popular and moreish. In Ren’s book you will find a lovely mixture of traditional and modern. Think Pastry Rolls with Sauerkraut and Mushrooms, Potato Blinis with Smoked Salmon and Soured Cream and Polish {Homemade}Flatbreads with Courgette, Red Cabbage and Rocket, as well as a meaty Bigos, a kind of hunter’s takeaway in stew form.

A Polish spin on the classic Italian dish, risotto. Made with millet instead of rice, this easy vegan recipe is laden with wild mushrooms for a decidedly autumnal dish. A perfect Meatless Monday or midweek dinner choice for the whole family.Food for Family and Friends – this is an especially lovely chapter as it incorporates recipes Ren turns to time and time again when cooking for her family. She also has a selection of recipes that she requests her mother make her when she visits. This chapter includes weeknight recipes as well as recipes for the slower pace of the weekend. I’ve made the Kaszotto, but her Cabbage Parcels with Barley and Mushroom Sauce are next on my list. If a pan of Pierogis doesn’t get made first (she gives five different versions to play with). She shares her mother’s master recipe including step by step instructions on rolling, cutting, shaping and filling the dough.

High Tea: Sweet Treats and Cakes – you would be forgiven for turning first to this chapter. You know those pierogis from the previous chapter? Well, how about a sweet version, filled with strawberries (or blueberries), honey and pistachios? And served with cinnamon whipped cream. I thought so. I have made her Plum and Poppy Seed Tray Bake several times for work, tweaking it to use half white and half wholemeal and reduced the sugar a bit (I’m mean that way!) – so good! And very very easy. If you are fond of baked cheesecake, Ren’s Polish Cheesecake with Raisins will appeal. And her Spiced Christmas Biscuits look beautifully balanced for spice (you should see the image – stunning). I’m bookmarking to have a practice go at them as potential pressies.

Fruit Liqueurs and Flavoured Vodkas – a whole chapter on flavoured vodkas? Why not. As vodka is a welcome drink when visiting a Polish home, and Poles are known for their impeccable hospitality, creative vodkas are an art form. The first recipe I ever tried of Ren’s – years ago – was for pomegranate and vanilla vodka. It was delicious and so easy and pretty for Christmas gifts. For these recipes, Ren gives very clear master instructions and handy tips. Go on, make your mouth water: Rhubarb and Vanilla Vodka, Salted Caramel Vodka, Spiced Honey Vodka. Twoje zdrowie!

***********************************************

Where to eat Polish food in London – I can highly recommend both Baltic, and the elegant Ognisko. Ognisko is actually one of my very favourite London restaurants for its winning combination of impeccable food, fabulous drinks (extensive vodka menu, with rows of homemade vodkas to choose from!), smart service and otherworldly atmosphere (private club meets family party by way of austerely beautiful art gallery/museum). It is situated almost across from the Science Museum on Exhibition Road, just down from the Victoria & Albert Museum and Natural History Museum, in Kensington.

Have you ever had Polish food? What’s your favourite Polish dish? My favourite is potato pancakes with beetroot and horseradish puree and smoked salmon. Just typing these words is making my tummy rumble. 🙂

Now, to that recipe!

A Polish spin on the classic Italian dish, risotto. Made with millet instead of rice, this easy vegan recipe is laden with wild mushrooms for a decidedly autumnal dish. A perfect Meatless Monday or midweek dinner choice for the whole family.

Millet Kaszotto with Wild Mushrooms

  • Servings: 4 generously
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A Polish spin on the classic Italian dish, risotto. Made with millet instead of rice, this easy vegan recipe is laden with wild mushrooms for a decidedly autumnal dish. A perfect Meatless Monday or midweek dinner choice for the whole family.

200g/7 oz/1 cup millet (kasza jaglana)

1 tbsp vegetable oil (I used organic rapeseed)

1 white onion (I used medium brown onion), finely chopped

1 celery stick (I used five lovage leaves from my garden but celery is best)

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 litre/ 1 3/4 pints/ 4 cups vegetable stock

20g/3/4 oz dried mushrooms (I used porcini)

400g/ 14 oz mixed fresh wild mushrooms (I used 300g mix of chestnut/crimini and field), cleaned and chopped

1 tsp butter or vegan alernative (I used Fushi organic ghee)

2 tsp chopped fresh parsley

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Rinse the millet under water until it runs clear, then drain in a sieve.

Heat the oil in a large, wide pan, preferably cast iron. Add the onion, celery and garlic, and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft and translucent.

Add the drained millet and stir well so that all the grains are coated in oil.

In a separate pan, bring the stock to a gentle boil. Add the dried mushrooms. Add a ladleful of the hot stock to the pan with the millet, stirring until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed before adding another ladleful – leave the mushrooms in the stock to flavour it. Keep going until all of the stock has been absorbed. The millet should soften after 10-15 minutes.

Remove the mushrooms from the stock pan using a slotted spoon. Chop them and add to the millet pan. Stir in the fresh wild mushrooms and cook for five minutes.

Stir in the butter and parsley, and season with salt and pepper. The “kaszotto” shouldn’t be too dry and there should be a bit of bite to the grains. Serve hot.

Kellie’s recipe notes: I love Ren’s tip about adding the dried mushrooms to the stock; it really does flavour it up. I decided to snip up the dried mushrooms before adding them to the bubbling stock so I wouldn’t need to fish them out and cut them while hot – I just added them all in with the last ladle of stock. I also didn’t need to add any salt, just the pepper. We reheated leftovers and had it for a second meal, and it was still very good.

How to buy: In addition to good bookstores and (US link) Amazon, Wild Honey & Rye is also available as a signed copy (including postage and a note from the author). This would make a tasteful, personal gift for a loved one (or a good suggestion for someone to get you!)A Polish spin on the classic Italian dish, risotto. Made with millet instead of rice, this easy vegan recipe is laden with wild mushrooms for a decidedly autumnal dish. A perfect Meatless Monday or midweek dinner choice for the whole family.

Ripe for PinningA Polish spin on the classic Italian dish, risotto. Made with millet instead of rice, this easy vegan recipe is laden with wild mushrooms for a decidedly autumnal dish. A perfect Meatless Monday or midweek dinner choice for the whole family.

12 thoughts on “Millet ‘Kaszotto’ with Wild Mushrooms from Wild Honey & Rye {review & recipe}

  1. chefkreso says:

    This recipe sounds really delicious, has all the ingredients I love, I would serve it with some fresh lettuce salad 🙂

    1. Good call! That’s what we did too 😊😊

  2. A good alternative for my meatless monday experiments 🙂 Thank you.

  3. Rachel says:

    Man, this looks amazing. I’m all about the risottos in the fall. I haven’t used millet before either… Gonna have to pick some up & give this a try!

  4. Mr A says:

    If you are looking for the ultimate umami comfort food, go no further. This is amazing!!

  5. We love risotto too, its the ultimate comfort food I think and this twist looks brilliant. Ive only cooked once with millet – when Dad brought back some red millet from Ecuador and I really liked it so thanks for reminding me about it. I shall be making this!

  6. Tricia says:

    Hi, would you mind telling me where you can buy the right sort of millet. This looks delicious and I’m keen to give it a go. Thank you

    1. You can definitely find it at WholeFoods Market, it’s small and a little bit yellow, like cous cous. x

      1. Tricia says:

        Thank you Ren. I don’t think we have that shop anywhere nearby, but I’ll have a look in Holland & Barrett x

  7. Wow Kellie, I’m just so overwhelmed by this post – the beyond lovely words, the stunning photos and the fact that at least one of my recipes reached the Food to Glow bar! I’m so pleased that you made this and enjoyed it. Millet can be an interesting grain to get used to. I make this recipe a lot with cracked barley groats, but they are tricker to find. Thank you so much for pre-ordering my book and for all your support. xx

  8. SingleMeThis... says:

    I love using mushrooms in egg dishes..but this one looks amazing and flavorful. It looks hearty for Fall.

If you have time, I would love to hear from you. Thanks so much!

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