This recipe, from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, comes highly recommended by my friend Karla. Karla said she's trying to include more whole grains in her diet, and after she made the Hazelnut and Quinoa Stuffed Squash, she said she had some leftover quinoa to use. This how she went about using it up. These days I always have quinoa in the pantry (okay, my kitchen is too small to include a pantry, so by that I mean the little shelf over the fridge where dry food is kept). I love its nutty flavor and all that protein, fiber and iron, as well as those amino acids, don't hurt either.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
As usual, Bittman provides a little background on his ingredients, and tells us that quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is originally from the Andes, and comes in three colors: white, red and black. A popular brand, at least around here, is Ancient Harvest, in a distinctive light blue box. However, since I live in a neighborhood with a high latino population, I've discovered that there is a grocery store brand available for a fraction of the cost, although I'm sure it's not distributed widely. But keep your eyes out.
Both Karla and Bittman recommend using purple potatoes, if you can find them. Lucky me, because I can. But any small, waxy potato will work just fine. Also, I got lucky for a second time, because I stumbled on some lovely apple-smoked cheddar cheese, just when I was about to settle for a regular one.
Roasted Quinoa with Potatoes and Cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. small, waxy potatoes, cut into wedges
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup quinoa
1/2 cup scallion
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
Red pepper flakes, to taste
6 ounces cheddar cheese, grated (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup minced parsley for garnish
Oven preheated to 400
Grease an 8x10 inch roasting pan with a bit of oil and set aside.
In a large pot, cover the potato wedges and garlic with salted water and begin cooking on high heat. When the water boils, add the quinoa. Continue to boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Drain the pot, then spread the quinoa, garlic and potatoes in the greased pan and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and toss so that everything is well-coated. Roast for 15 minutes, then gently toss again. Make sure to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes. The potatoes should be tender and golden.
Add the scallion, bell pepper and pepper flakes, adjust the flavor, and toss once more. Spread the cheese over the top and return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted. Garnish with parsley and serve.