Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Quinoa Salad with Broccoli Pesto
This quinoa and broccoli salad screams new year health food. Perfect for the post-holiday detox. It was pretty quick to put together, although it did dirty more pans than I would have liked. Mostly because I am sick and didn't want to do the dishes! I did end up adding extra salt and lemon juice once I mixed it all together, but the couple bites I had seemed pretty tasty. Joe had seconds, if that's any indication. I had ramen noodles, which was not as tasty but felt good with my cold & stomach ache. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow, because I have a feeling this would make an excellent lunch!
Double Broccoli Quinoa
3 cups cooked quinoa*
5 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
3 medium garlic cloves
2/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 big pinches salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup heavy cream
Optional toppings: slivered basil, sliced avocado, crumbled feta or goat cheese
Heat the quinoa and set aside.
Now barely cook the broccoli by pouring 3/4 cup water into a large pot and bringing it to a simmer. Add a big pinch of salt and stir in the broccoli. Cover and cook for a minute, just long enough to take the raw edge off. Transfer the broccoli to a strainer and run under cold water until it stops cooking. Set aside.
To make the broccoli pesto puree two cups of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, 1/2 cup of the almonds, Parmesan, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil and cream and pulse until smooth.
Just before serving, toss the quinoa and remaining broccoli florets with about 1/2 of the broccoli pesto. Taste and adjust if needed, you might want to add more of the pest a bit at a time, or you might want a bit more salt or an added squeeze of lemon juice. Turn out onto a serving platter and top with the remaining almonds, a drizzle of the chile oil, and some sliced avocado or any of the other optional toppings.
Serves 4 - 6
*To cook quinoa: rinse one cup of quinoa in a fine-meshed strainer. In a medium saucepan heat the quinoa, two cups of water (or broth if you like), and a few big pinches of salt until boiling. Reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa fluffs up, about 15 minutes. Quinoa is done when you can see the curlique in each grain, and it is tender with a bit of pop to each bite. Drain any extra water and set aside.