July 8, 2009

JUST CRYING OUT FOR CRUMBLED BACON:

Toasted Quinoa, Walnuts, Parmesan and Baby Spinach Leaves (Marie Simmons, 07/08/2009, Contra Costa Times)


1 cup quinoa

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, grated or crushed

1¾ cups hot water

½ teaspoon coarse salt

½ to 1 cup broken walnuts

4 cups packed (about 6 ounces) baby spinach leaves

1 basket small cherry tomatoes

½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more to taste

Torn basil leaves (optional garnish)

1. Place the quinoa in small bowl, add water to cover, swish to rinse, pour into fine mesh strainer and drain.

2. Heat oil in medium skillet with lid. Add quinoa and cook, stirring over medium heat, until grains are dry and golden, about 12 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute. Add water and salt and heat to boiling. Cook, covered, over medium low heat, until all of the water is absorbed and the quinoa has burst open and is fluffy, 18-20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, spread walnuts in a small skillet stir over medium low heat until toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

4. When quinoa is cooked, add spinach and tomatoes to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until spinach is almost wilted and tomatoes are warmed, about 1 minute. Stir in walnuts and cheese. Garnish with basil and serve with more cheese sprinkled on top, if desired.

Note: Remember to rinse the quinoa before cooking. A naturally occurring bitter substance on the surface acts as a repellent to birds. Some quinoa is pre-rinsed, but when buying in bulk, it is difficult to be certain this is the case.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 8, 2009 10:35 AM
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