Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Double Broccoli Quinoa

I just made the best dinner.  Seriously, an awesome, awesome dinner.  You look at the title and probably think I'm crazy, and I probably am, but it is seriously awesome.  And pretty easy too, if you have a food processor (or I'm sure a large enough blender would work).  Using a food processor for the first time was the hardest part.

I think it's the garlic that makes this recipe, or maybe the parmesan cheese.  Or maybe, it's the broccoli.  I say that I don't like vegetables so I hide them places... recently that hasn't been true, as I brought back the Carrot Chile and Cilantro Soup and plan on making veggie salads for lunch over the weekend.  Also, broccoli is an exception to that rule.  I love broccoli, I crave broccoli with lemon.  I've been reading "Alone in the Kitchen with An Eggplant," thanks ctheflute, which is basically people gushing about their favorite foods to eat alone.  And these are people who can actually write, so I'm in a gushy mood, especially over food.

Anyway, the point is, I love broccoli so double the broccoli and I'm a happy camper.  And this is a great vegetarian meal because (as I recently learned) quinoa is a complete protein (cough, cough for any vegetarians or people who feed vegetarians, they should include quinoa as a great protein source).  And it is so tasty.  Broccoli pesto?  One of the best ideas ever.  This is from 101 Cookbooks.

3 cups cooked quinoa (one cup dry)
5 cups raw broccoli, cut into florets and stems

3 medium garlic cloves
2/3 c sliced or slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 c grated Parmesan
2 big pinches of salt
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c heavy cream (I used vanilla soymilk because I didn't have cream)

Optional toppings: slivered basil, fireoil, sliced avocado, crumbled feta
(note, I used avocado and it didn't really add anything and I think I used extra Parmesan so feta was unnecessary.

Heat (or cook) quinoa and set aside.

Barely cook broccoli by bringing 3/4 cup water into a large pot to a simmer.  Stir in broccoli, cover and cook for a minute, just enough to take the raw edge off.  Transfer broccoli to a strainer and run under cold water to end cooking.  Set aside.

Make broccoli pesto: puree two cups of broccoli, the garlic, 1/2 almonds, Parmesan, remaining salt, and lemon juice in a food processor.  Drizzle in olive oil and cream and pulse until smooth.

Just before serving, toss quinoa and remaining broccoli with 1/2 for the broccoli pesto.  Adjust to taste as needed.  Serve with serving toppings.

It was especially nice in comparison with my lunch (Bulgar salad), which didn't turn out as well as I hoped, but am stuck with eating.

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