I used to think that quinoa was the same as tabbouleh, and then couscous and then Israeli couscous. In other words, we have a history of misunderstanding each other.
From what I can learn, it is a grain. More like a super-grain – a complete protein with amino acids, lots of fiber, iron and gluten-free. Something you can feel good about eating. Until you cover it with cheese.
Mother began raving about this dish after she served it to her Bridge group. I imagine the women taking fork-fulls in between turns of “Two no trump” and “Please pass the Pims.”
On the list of things I never thought would taste good together, here we have quinoa, sage, garlic, onion, dark greens, Gruyere and Parmesan. But somehow in the chemistry of the cooking process, each of these ingredients links arms with the others, creating a beautiful dish that one vegetable-hating friend recently called “A revelation!”
I’ve now made this twice – once as a side dish, using spinach, and once as a main course with kale from the farmers market. You can use any dark, leafy green in here.
Baked quinoa with kale and Gruyere
- 6 oz. kale, washed and roughly chopped
- 2 T EVOO
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 plump garlic cloves, minced
- 4 c. cooked quinoa (1 c. uncooked)
- 2 large eggs
- 3 oz. Gruyere cheese, grated (3/4 c.)
- 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh sage
- 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (1/4 c.)
- Salt and pepper
To cook quinoa, rinse 1 c. in a small strainer, then place in saucepan with 2 c. Water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 min., until all water is absorbed.
Preheat oven to 400. Oil 2-quart baking dish.
Heat large frying pan over medium-heat, add onion and cook until tender, about 5 min. Add garlic and stir 1 min. Add kale and toss to wilt. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat.
Beat eggs in a large bowl and add 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir in quinoa, onion and kale mixture, Gruyere and sage. Add freshly ground pepper and stir. Scrape into baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan and drizzle with 1 T olive oil. Bake until browned, about 25 min. Allow to sit for 5 min. and serve.