Tag Archives: onion

Baked quinoa with kale and gruyere

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.

Honestly, what doesn’t taste good with Gruyere? Enjoy, friends! xoxo


Pasta all’Amatriciana

Everything is blooming. When fall finally settled upon my Southern home five months ago, I thought I had never seen such color occur in nature. As a Northwestern gal, I’m used to the rich greens and sages of ponderosa pine and juniper. I wasn’t used to the sea of foliage blazing in crimson, gold and umber.

Now, spring. I swear, every one of those trees is blooming. Every one! Not just sprouting tender new leaves; blooming. I’ve never seen anything like it, not even in Seattle or Portland, Ore. Does that mean they all are fruit-bearing trees? No…we also have Southern magnolia to complement the pear and cherry trees. I stepped out of the office one day with a colleague and a perfume of flowers met us. We sat under a full umbrella of cherry blossoms, looking through the white petals to the blue sky. Perfect weather for a light jacket.

The extended evening light makes me more willing to cook after a long day of work. Granted, this still doesn’t happen quite enough, but at least I don’t go STRAIGHT to bed anymore. Instead, I make dishes like the Italian country dish called Pasta all’Amatriciana.

This is essentially a bacon-tomato based pasta that my boyfriend said reminded him of hoppin’ john. Alls I knows is this: pancetta = bacon without the smoke. I even went to the specialty store to get authentic, 1/4-inch sliced pancetta and real Pecorino Romano cheese. You must be authentic in this regard, because any thinner pancetta will dissolve into the sauce and bad cheese is just bad, especially when eaten raw.

It was simple and elegant and satisfying even for someone who wants a heartier pasta.

Coming at you from Cook’s Illustrated…

Pasta all’Amatriciana


  • 2 T evoo
  • 6 0z. 1/4-inch sliced pancetta (I used 9 oz…whoops!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
  • kosher salt
  • 1 lb. linguine or bucatini
  • 1/3 c. Pecorino Romano

Bring large pot of water to boil for pasta. Drop in pasta with a handful of salt and cook according to package.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium. Add pancetta and cook until crisp and lightly brown, about 8 min. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel to drain.

Add onion to skillet, saute over medium until softened, about 5 min. Add red pepper flakes, cook 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes and season with salt to taste. Simmer until thickened, 10 min. Return pancetta.

When pasta is done, drain and add to tomato mixture and season with salt to taste. Toss to combine. Add cheese and toss again.

Serve with Italian parsley, more Pecorino Romano and some toasted Italian bread.

Enjoy this as you enjoy your spring, friends! xoxo