Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Happy New Year! I know that at 19 days old, 2012 is already losing that new-year smell, but please suspend your disbelief…and try to graciously overlook the fact that I’m still catching up on posting recipes from the end of 2011. Luckily, this one fits in perfectly with the detox/diet/healthy eating narratives that dominate the food blogs—and, let’s face it, pretty much all media—every time January rolls around. (I love my fruits and vegetables, but if I see one more green smoothie recipe pop up in my Google Reader, I’m going to—well, strenuously roll my eyes, at least.) Sure, it’s lean and low-carb, packed full of greens and protein, but what drew me to this warm salad-ish dish at The Kitchen Sink Recipes was how thoroughly it combines nearly all my food obsessions into a single tidy package: Roasted vegetables, lemon, red pepper flakes, arugula, quinoa, feta, and mustard (my new bestie!) are all keywords that make me sit up and take notice when reading an ingredient list, so imagine my joy to see the whole passel of them hanging out together at one big party.

Not surprisingly, then, I loved this. A hasn’t taken to quinoa the way I have, and as much as I’d hoped he would like this one, I was secretly comforted by the thought that I’d have all the leftovers to myself. Light but filling, virtuous but boldly flavored, it makes a perfect workday lunch, and tastes equally good eaten warm or cold. I think there was maybe supposed to be red onion in the mix (the original post mentions it and I think I can spot it in the photos, but it’s left out of the recipe), but I didn’t miss it. The recipe is easy and straightforward; the only change I’d be tempted to make would be to add the zest of the lemon as well as the juice, for a little extra hit of citrus. Otherwise: perfection. If you haven’t tried quinoa yet, what are you waiting for? Make it your new year’s resolution, and start with this recipe.

POSTSCRIPT: I made this again last night, with the following additions: 1 small minced shallot and the grated zest of the lemon, both added to the Dijon-lemon juice mixture in Step 4. I'll definitely be including those in the recipe from now on.

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
Kosher salt to taste
1 large head broccoli
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon coarse-grained Dijon mustard
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
2 cups baby arugula
¼ cup crumbled feta

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer, rinse thoroughly with cold water, and drain. Combine quinoa, water, and a big pinch of salt in a pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the quinoa has absorbed the water. Remove from heat and set aside (keep covered).

3. Meanwhile, prepare the broccoli. Cut the florets into bite-sized pieces Trim the woody end from the stalks, and, using a vegetable peeler, trim the tough outside layer from the stalks; slice the stalks into coins. Toss the florets and stalk slices in 1 tablespoon oil, a pinch of salt, and red pepper flakes. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until the broccoli is browned in spots.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard and lemon juice. Whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the arugula. Add the quinoa and broccoli, when they are cooked, and toss to wilt the arugula and coat everything with dressing. Top with feta.

Serves: 3–4
Time: 1 hour
Leftover potential: Good.

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