Up next for cookbook club is Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Home Cooking. Tonight I tested a simple salad recipe from the book. The name of the salad almost literally lists all of the ingredients -- quinoa, spinach, goat cheese, and sauteed shiitakes. If you remember the name, you remember the recipe. It was earthy and flavorful and high on the healthy meter.
1. The full recipe serves four. I quartered everything, give or take, and successfully made a single serving.
2. J-G has you toast the quinoa for 5 minutes before adding the water. Mine seemed to be burning and popping like popcorn after about 3 minutes, so I made it stop. The quinoa didn't taste burnt in the salad and arguably had more depth of flavor.
J-G's QUINOA WITH SPINACH, GOAT CHEESE, AND SAUTEED SHITTAKES
1 cup quinoa
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
6 ounces baby spinach
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
Toast the quinoa in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and tender, about 8 minutes.
Spoon the warm quinoa and mushrooms over the spinach on a serving platter, then drizzle with the vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper and top with the goat cheese.