A food-related breakthrough today, following a wonderful weekend in Boston. Forget the South — and you know I never venture below the Mason-Dixon line, not wholly because of politics, humidity, and a healthy fear of Civil War reenactors, but mostly because of the fried food fanaticism. Boston knows how to do comfort food to the nth degree. We’re talking steak tips (which don’t seem to exist in New York City) and lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, and, sorry to say, fried seafood (why? why?). I WILL, however, mention that oysters in Beantown totally rock.
That said, I desperately needed a HUGE helping of super-food hyper-antioxidants. But without losing the comfort factor. So, I give you… Rosemary Quinoa Collard Confection! (patent pending). Easy peasy and kind of addictive. I’d eat it for breakfast. PS. If you’ve eschewed buying quinoa because you couldn’t pronounce it, it’s KEEN-Wah.
Cook the quinoa in water with a stem of fresh rosemary (remove later). I can’t tell you exactly how to do this because in a fit of pique I threw out my idiotic set of separate but nesting plastic measuring cups, meaning to buy a more non-idiotic glass SINGLE measuring cup. Also, some recipes make cooking quinoa sound like preparing the most arcane risotto (rinse the precious imported Arborio twice using a gold mesh filter, pick out any loser deformed grain pellets, double rinse again, gently simmer for seven million years whilst adding water or chicken stock a droplet at a time and stir until your hand falls off).
I just put in maybe half a cup of the grain and then a cup of water and, truth be told, ended up cooking it kind of like risotto, adding water when it started complaining. It’s a forgiving super-food grain, and done in about fifteen minutes of simmering. When it seemed al dente, or semi-chewy-crunchy, I threw in a large chiffonade of collard greens (a good, meaty green is needed to complement the fluffy texture of the quinoa, though mine wasn’t as fluffy as it could have been.)
I then added a wee bit of crumbled gorgonzola and finely chopped Medjool dates and let it sit for a while so all the ingredients could get to know each other while I test-tasted what white wine would work best as a complementary salubriant (not sure that’s a word). Feeling indulgent and sorry for myself that I couldn’t share with my beloved, I topped it off with a handful of imported Spanish Marcona almonds.
NOTE: In retrospect, I would FREEZE the dates beforehand in order to cut them more precisely and separate them; I’d also cool the Gorgonzola or get a drier variety so it doesn’t clump). Then again, if I get a big ‘ole clump of Gorgonzola, I’m a very happy girl.
NOTE #2: Feel free to substitute ANY of the ingredients above. If you’re dieting, eat raw collard greens and a glass of water. Just kidding. Lose the cheese and you’re good to go.