Wednesday, April 18, 2012

quinoa with spinach, goat cheese, and sauteed shiitakes

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.

My notes:

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.


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.

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