The Food52 Cookbook: One-Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf (Recipe and Review)
A perfect light lunch. A delicious side dish. Dinner for one with a glass of wine when your man is out of town. This One-Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf from The Food52 Cookbook is all of the above. It's light, delicious, and healthy. I'm pretty new to quinoa; I've only prepared it a couple of times, but I think I really like it. As I get older, I'm getting more and more interested in eating healthier and really paying attention to what I'm putting into my body. You start to realize that it really makes you feel a heck of a lot better when you eat real food, rather than quick and dirty fast food. (Although... if I've had a few too many beers, well, I've been known to still ask for a beef and cheddar from Arby's. I just try to do it a lot less frequently these days.)
So let me tell you more about this cookbook. This might be the coolest idea for a cookbook I have ever heard of and this is definitely one of the most beautiful cookbooks I've ever seen. This book comes from the writers of the website by the same name, FOOD52. I've only just begun perusing this site, but it seems like an amazing place and when I have more time, I fully plan to get more involved in the community. There are so many home cooks that can cook just as good as a chef in a restaurant, but they do it for fun instead and websites like this are a way for them all to connect and share their creations. The amazing thing about this cookbook is the writers and founders of FOOD52, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, decided to run a cooking contest every single week... for 52 weeks... and created a cookbook using the winning recipes! How great would it be to have one of your original recipes published in a cookbook? I know my answer would be, "amazing!" That is why I immediately fell in love with this cookbook and can't wait to cook a ton out of it.
One of the most important things to me when choosing a cookbook is that it has plenty of pictures of the recipes. I want to know what the dish is supposed to look like before I attempt to prepare it. I think that's important for beginner cooks as well as expert-level cooks. I like to flip through the pages and let my eyes be tempted by the pictures and decide what to make that way. This book has a picture of every single recipe. Did I mention this cookbook is awesome?
To see what I prepared from this cookbook, meet me after the jump!
So when I was sent this cookbook to review, I asked if there was a recipe I could prepare and also share the recipe with my readers (because I don't like to be a tease). They gave me this recipe and I think you'll really like it. This will be a chance for those of you that have never tasted quinoa to give it a try. I think this is a great way to prepare it and also a great way to eat your kale - one of the very best vegetables you could possibly eat to stay nice and healthy :-)
To prepare this Kale and Quinoa Pilaf, you first start by bringing 2 cups salted water to a boil over high heat in a large pot with a cover. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat until it is just high enough to maintain a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, then top the quinoa with the kale and re-cover.
In the meantime, toast up some pine nuts...
Then add the pine nuts to a large bowl with the lemon zest, half the lemon juice, the scallions, olive oil, and goat cheese.
This is what the kale will look like after it has wilted into the quinoa. 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 it 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 lemons, it should smell lovely. Toss to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper and the remaining lemon juice if needed.
Try something new and give this one a try. I think you'll really like it and you'll feel great after eating it. I can't wait to dive back into this cookbook and make other recipes like the Savory Bread Pudding with prosciutto, shallots, mushrooms, and various cheeses. Yum!! I hope they decide to do another cookbook like this again. Maybe I still have time to get into it? Hhmmm..... gotta go!