Rich Mushroom Gravy

Jill Nussinow — From The Veggie Queen by Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, Vegetarian Connection Press: Santa Rosa, 2005. Reprinted with permission from the author. To learn more about Jill and her work visit her website.

This is great served with mashed potatoes. See Page 116 [in The Veggie Queen] for a great mashed potato recipe. You can also serve this alongside stuffing at the holidays or any day that you want to feel like a holiday. You make this recipe without oil by dry sautéing the mushrooms and then setting them aside. Be sure to brown the flour well for a rich taste without the added oil.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons oil
6 ounces crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups water
1/4 cup reduced lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Directions:
In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, until they start to brown and release a bit of liquid. Remove the mushrooms and set aside. Add the flour, thyme, and pepper to the pan and stir constantly until the flour is lightly toasted. Gradually add water with a whisk. When blended, add the mushrooms and the last 3 ingredients and mix well. Adjust the seasonings as needed. You can add a little bit of sugar or maple syrup for balance. Serve hot.

Variation: Soak 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms (such as porcini or shiitake) in 1 cup warm or hot water for 30 minutes. Use part of this soaking water (the part without dirt and debris) as the liquid for the gravy. Finely chop the drained, soaked mushrooms and add to gravy mixture before adding the last 3 ingredients.