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Thursday, December 29, 2011

[sweet or savory?] quinoa for dinner

I regularly ask my husband what he'd like for dinner because, while we like toasted cheese sandwiches, omelettes or easy grilled chicken, it's nice to make something different. This week, now that Hanukkah has ended and we've had our fill of oily foods (latkes, donuts), we plan on eating pretty healthy. The answer I was given when I asked what I should make for dinner this week was a number of random, odd food items but one of them was quinoa. That was exciting because I had bookmarked a recipe in the January 2012 edition of Bon App├ętit, a hearty salad of quinoa, fennel and pomegranate by chef Ottolenghi and couldn't wait to try it!

This turned out to be a really delicious salad, with a few deviations from the original:
  1. One of the rare times I actually wanted to buy cilantro, I grabbed parsley by accident but it tasted fine as a substitute and I added some ground coriander.
  2. To make it a little heartier for dinner I added goat cheese (but feta would also work).
  3. My husband suggested pine nuts for crunch (so I will probably add that next time I make this).
  4. I used a milder chile.
Pomegranates look like they are in season now, the had really large ones in the store today so I have quite a bit left! The fennel (my new favourite vegetable) cooked up deliciously and would make a great side dish on it's own. My salad looks a little different from the original recipe picture which you can find here.

Served with roasted cauliflower and garlic soup for starter and some steamed broccoli on the side, this salad was full of texture, colour and fresh flavours, a pleasure!


  1. It looks colorful and so delicious - I too think pine nuts would be a terrific addition.

  2. Looks lovely - the pomegranate seeds are so pretty, the quinoa looks tasty, and the parsley is perfect for a green.

  3. That really looks delicious. I'm going to try it.

    Also, do you have a garlic soup recipe to share?

  4. kinda made up the cauliflower and garlic soup, it's very easy: a couple of heads of cauliflower (in pieces) and an onion or two plus a whole garlic (or two!!). put cauliflower and onion on baking tray, drizzle with some olive oil and bake at a moderate temperature until it starts to turn golden. place the garlic in a foil packet with a drizzle of olive oil and close up. place in oven with cauliflower and roast until garlic is tender and pieces squeeze easily out of the peel. once all roasted to your liking, place in large saucepan with enough water or stock to cover veggies and bring to the boil. reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower is soft and breaks up easily. cool slightly, remove some chunks of cauliflower, blend with stick blender until smooth. crumble up the pieces you took out and place back in the smooth soup. season with salt, pepper and a little parsley, reheat until warmed through. serve with crusty bread!

  5. Okay, I just made the garlic cauliflower soup - yummy! Thanks for sharing! (I make a zucchini garlic soup - if you make it, don't substitute anything for the butter, unless you have butter flavored margarine. Can you get that in the states?)

  6. nom noms :)

    butter flavored marg? dunno, can look around. i found that earth balance stuff works just as well.


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