Saturday, 14 January 2012

Roasted cauliflower, shallot, pistachio and green olive quinoa

It is absolutely incredible how the perception of time passing changes depending on the context of the present. With the situation of a terrifying or dreaded deadline looming in the future time whips past, leaving you with not enough hours in the day to accomplish what needs to be done or to relax or to enjoy yourself. In alarming contrast, when said deadline has passed, and the future becomes relaxed; minutes feel like hours, one work day feels interminably long, a week clunks by like a slow moving vehicle you curse when you get stuck behind.

Okay, so I do have deadlines, but none of them seem that important compared to what I just went through. Everything feels comparison. Everyday, I get to the lab and I think, you just needed today to get back into it, tomorrow will be productive. If anything things are moving more and more slowly as the days pass. It is like I am in one of those awful dreams where you want to run but your legs are stuck to the ground or feel like cement. That is how I feel, only it is my brain that wants to run and it is time that is stuck in the cement. 

Maybe I am being a little dramatic. I do not want you to be as bored as I am, so I am trying to make being bored sound interesting. Also, my recipe for today may be a little boring, but it is healthy and a little different. I made this quinoa recipe wanting to use up the leftover cauliflower purchased for cauliflower steaks described in my previous post. I served this quinoa dish with some not-chicken fingers (not shown). For the not-chicken fingers I made a honey-mustard yogurt dip. Mike decided he liked the quinoa better with the yogurt dip mixed into it. I agreed, when I tried my second serving with the dip, which I will now call a salad dressing, mixed in to the quinoa.

Roasted cauliflower, shallot, pistachio and green olive quinoa
Autumn seasonal: cauliflower, cilantro, shallots
1 cup quinoa
1/2 head of cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 tsp anise
1/4 tsp ground coriander
3 cloves garlic
3 shallots
Sea salt
1/2 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped green olives
1/4 cup cilantro
Crumbled goat cheese, optional

Optional dressing
1/4 cup plain thick yogurt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Sea salt to taste
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard

1 - Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil, add dry quinoa, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes
2 - Preheat oven to 400F.
3 - In an ovenproof skillet, heat 1 - 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat and add cauliflower. Season with anise and coriander.
4 - Cook until brown then stir in the shallots and garlic.
5 - Place pan into oven and roast cauliflower for about 20 minutes.
6 - Drain quinoa and let cool. Stir in olives, pistachios and cilantro.
7 - If you find the quinoa too plain you can stir in the yogurt mustard dressing that is made by simply mixing together the yogurt, lemon juice, sea salt, honey and mustard. If you are serving the quinoa with a more complex dish I would omit the dressing.
8 - When the cauliflower is nicely browned and cooked through, remove from oven and serve piled onto the quinoa mixture.
9 - If you do not use the dressing, goat cheese is also a nice addition to the quinoa.

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