Okay, people. It's Monday. If you had a wild weekend of food and drinks like I did, you are probably in need of some healthy eating tonight. I got your back.
I was going through some really old pictures I posted on facebook sometime last week, so that I could see what my food photos looked like back then (I used to drown my newsfeed in food photos before I started blogging) and I came across this swiss chard and mushroom quinoa dish and I said to myself, "Oh, yeah! I remember making this. That was good. I should make that again."
Good story, right?
Nah, but for real, it had been a while since I made a good quinoa dish, so naturally, I got excited about it.
Also, the food photos I used to take were really awful. I mean, REALLY. At least now, I try to make the food look good in my photos, but these were simple iPhone shots in the worst lighting possible taken at the worst angle possible. I thought about sharing some with you in this post, so we both could laugh at me, you know? But I'd rather not scare you off. It's for the best. Trust.
So I want to tell you a little about this cheese I love so much. It's called myzythra (pronounced mee-TZEE-thra - make sure you know how to your "R" on the tongue to say it correctly. I won't have it any other way). It's also spelled as mizithra. I use both interchangeably. It's a Greek cheese that was almost always in my parents' fridge. And you know, I'm Greek, so it makes more sense that would be the case.
I usually have this cheese over pasta. Particularly, brown-buttered spaghetti, which is a Greek specialty! I will have that on the blog soonish. It's delicious.
I decided to add it to the swiss chard and mushroom quinoa to offer a different flavor to the dish. Mizithra is a hard, dry cheese; it's basically a dried salted ricotta. It doesn't really melt easily, so you'll want to grate it finely (a microplane works best for this).
This also means mizithra is a great alternative to ricotta salata and vice versa. Keep that in mind for future cheese needs.
I get mine from a local Greek foods store, but if you don't have one nearby, your supermarket may carry it! I have no idea whether this cheese is hard to find or not. I literally have no clue. Unless you're in an area with a Market Basket because you'll definitely find it there.
If myzithra is hard to find, sub in ricotta salata! And do tell me how you liked the dish if you make it. <3
- 1 cup white quinoa
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, I use grass-fed
- 10 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
- ½ large sweet onion, chopped (1 cup)
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch swiss chard, rinsed and chopped
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- grated myzithra cheese to taste
- Cook quinoa according to package directions and set aside (to save on time, prep the other veggies while the quinoa cooks).
- Preheat a wide saute pan over medium-high heat. Add butter and let melt.
- Add onions and saute until soft and translucent; about five minutes.
- Stir in garlic and saute until fragrant; one minute.
- Add mushrooms and cook for three minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Sprinkle mushrooms with one teaspoon of salt and continue to cook for another two minutes, until the mushrooms have softened.
- Add swiss chard and continue to cook for another five minutes, stirring to combine all the ingredients.
- Add quinoa and remaining salt. Stir until well combined.
- Remove from heat and add grated cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.