Mixed Mushrooms, Watercress, and Pine Nuts was the vegetable dish for the night.
The original recipe had cashews instead of pine nuts. But I knew our host had a history of gout and I knew that nuts were on the no-eat list due to its effect of heightening uric acid so I substituted pine nuts.
Except that (I didn’t know) mushrooms were high in uric acid too. Sigh…
About 500 grams mixed fresh mushrooms (shitake, button, and oyster)
about 300 grams fresh watercress
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
Clean the mushrooms, cut into more manageable pieces if needed. Toss in about a tablespoon of soy sauce; marinate for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile crush about 10 cloves of garlic in a mortar with a pestle. (The beauty of someone else’s kitchen is that I get to use stuff I don’t have in my kitchen. And learn something new! Like how pounding garlic in a mortar with a pestle is so much more satisfying that a knife and a chopping board!)
Then, trim the watercress of tough stems and ends. Rinse and pat dry.
Heat some oil in a pan. Sauté the crushed garlic until soft and fragrant. Add the mushrooms; stir fry several seconds. Add the watercress and a splash of soy sauce (add as desired but be mindful not to make the dish too salty).
Cook until the vegetables are soft but still crunchy. There will be a lot of liquid. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the watercress and mushrooms to a serving dish (my watercress shrunk and got hidden under all the mushrooms), then scatter pine nuts over the top.
(Our gracious host enjoyed this dish the most, he said. Even with my faux pas, and his rising levels of uric acid.)