In the Kitchen
A One-Pot Wonder
August 28, 2012
I love anything that requires little in the way of cooking tools, and when said dish also happens to incorporate two frequent greenmarket purchases (kale and, when in season, Meyer lemons), I’m sold. Such is the case with this, one of my favorite Food52 recipes. A pseudo-pilaf with a blend of kale, quinoa, goat cheese and sweet Meyer lemon, it is easy to throw together, even for the most kitchen-phobic, and makes for an entirely satisfying main or side dish.
I’ve experimented with a number of variations on the primary ingredients—substituting swiss chard for kale, toasted almonds instead of pine nuts, feta instead of goat cheese, olive instead of walnut oil—all to pretty good effect, though I do think the original version remains my favorite. One thing I would recommend always sticking to is the Meyer instead of traditional lemon; the former adds an all-around brightness to the dish that the latter just can’t stack up to. FIORELLA
Food 52 One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf
2 cups salted water
1 cup quinoa
1 bunch lacinato kale, washed and chopped into 1” lengths
1 Meyer lemon, zested and juiced
2 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon toasted walnut oil
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
salt and pepper
1. Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat until it is just enough to maintain a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then top with the kale and re-cover. Simmer another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to steam for 5 more minutes.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, take a large serving bowl and combine half of the lemon juice (reserving the other half), all of the lemon zest, scallions, walnut oil (you can substitute olive oil if you desire), pine nuts, and goat cheese.
3. Check the quinoa and kale when the cooking time has completed — the water should have absorbed, and the quinoa will be tender but firm, and the kale tender and bright green. If the quinoa still has a hard white center, you can steam a bit longer (adding more water if needed). When the quinoa and kale are done, fluff the pilaf, and tip it into the waiting bowl with the remaining ingredients. As the hot quinoa hits the scallions and lemon it should smell lovely. Toss to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper, and the remaining lemon juice if needed.