Once again, Mark (Bittman) and I are on the same page.
Mark, are you reading yet? :)
Yesterday, he wrote a great story in the New York Times entitled "The Ungarnished Truth" about letting fresh herbs take "center stage" in dishes, instead of just accompanying them. This is something I have been doing a lot lately (remember my Fresh Herb Manifesto?), so I really enjoyed the article. Of course some dishes, like tabouli for example, center around fresh herbs, but these dishes are few and far between.
I recreated one of the recipes from this article, with quinoa instead of brown rice. Quinoa is healthier, with all that added protein! I also love the little crunch that it has. But, use your favorite grain for this one; I imagine barley, bulgur, wheatberries or kasha would be delicious with this recipe too. This pilaf has four different herbs in it: parsley, cilantro, mint and chives. With a touch of lemon and soy at the end, the result is an extremely fresh, bright tasting side dish, perfect for summer.
Next up is the Lemony Parsley-and-Egg Soup!! How good does that sound?
Note: Props to my good friend Ali for designing this gorgeous new logo for me! She has a fun venture of her own called Fatty Sundays, which are AMAZING chocolate covered pretzels in flavors like berry granola, peanut butter & jelly and espresso. They make great gifts too! They are totally addicting.. check them out here!
Green Quinoa Pilaf (adapted from Mark Bittman's "The Ungarnished Truth", The New York Times)
2 tablespoons neutral oil (like grapeseed or corn)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups quinoa, or grain of your choice
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water, or more as needed
Salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup chopped fresh chives
3/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Zest of 1 lemon
Soy sauce for serving
Put the oil in a deep skillet or large saucepan over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the quinoa and cook, stirring, until glossy, about 1 minute. Add the stock or water and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook until the qiunoa is tender and the liquid is almost entirely absorbed, about 15 minutes. Uncover, remove from the heat and stir in the herbs. Replace the lid and let rest off the heat for at least 10 minutes or up to 20 minutes. Uncover and stir in the lemon zest; taste and adjust the seasoning. Fluff the pilaf with a fork, and serve warm or at room temperature with a drizzle of soy sauce.