Thursday, March 4, 2010

Double Broccoli Quinoa

It's a beautiful thing when recipes you've been anticipating for awhile turn out well.  I'd never made quinoa before, but I think I'm a fan ... at least when it's smothered with broccoli pesto.

The recipe only calls for using 1/2 of the broccoli pesto, so you could cut it in half.  I ended up adding more than half to the quinoa and it's so delicious that I think I'm more than okay with having leftover pesto in the fridge (broccoli pesto and baguette anyone?).  The only change I made to the recipe was substituting pine nuts for almonds and not topping with extra pine nuts outside of the pesto.  I'm sure the almonds are great, I was just in a pine nut mood!  The original suggests topping with fire oil (red pepper + olive oil).  I didn't do that, but I think the added heat would make this meal even more amazing.  I did follow her suggestions of adding sliced avocado and feta cheese.

Double Broccoli Quinoa (from 101cookbooks)

3 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup cooked according to package)
5 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
3 medium garlic cloves
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
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: 
sliced avocado
crumbled feta

1. Heat the quinoa and set aside.
2. 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.  (I kept it on for slightly longer as I prefer broccoli a little more cooked!).
3. To make the broccoli pesto puree two cups of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. Drizzle in the olive oil and cream and pulse until smooth.
4. 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 some sliced avocado and feta.

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