Portabello Mushroom Gravy

3/4 cup onion, diced
2 T. olive oil
3/4 cup carrot, diced
3/4 cup celery, diced
1 cup portabello mushrooms (or baby bella mushrooms), diced
2 T. toasted sesame oil
2 t. garlic, minced
1 1/2 t. dried basil
1 t. dried thyme
1/3 cup unbleached flour
3 1/2 cups cooking liquid from preparing seitan for the Blue Plate Special
1/4 cup red wine
2 T. tomato paste
2 T. freshly chopped parsley

In a medium saucepan, saute the onion in the olive oil for 2 minutes to soften. Add the carrot and celery and saute an additional 5-7 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the mushrooms, toasted sesame oil, garlic, and dried herbs, and saute an additional 2-3 minutes or until the mushrooms soften and the mixture is fragrant. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture, stir well to incorporate it into the vegetable mixture, and cook an additional 1 minute while stirring constantly. Slowly whisk the cooking liquid from preparing the seitan into the mixture in the saucepan. Reduce the heat to low, whisk in the remaining ingredients, and simmer the mixture for 20-25 minutes or until thickened. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly. Using an immersion hand blender, blender, or food processor, puree the mixture to form a smooth or slightly chunky gravy, as desired. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve as a gravy in the recipe for the Blue Plate Special, or in other dishes, or over vegetables or grains.

Yield: 4 1/2 Cups


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