Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Quinoa and Kale Pilaf

So remember how I promised you some delicious recipes this morning?  Well, this is the first one.

I made this Quinoa and Kale Pilaf for dinner last night with some teriyaki-glazed salmon (MSC-certified Wild Alaskan Sockeye that I had in the freezer from when it went on super sale at Whole Foods a few weeks back - with homemade teriyaki made by Brian!) along with a big green salad and some homemade beer bread (still tinkering with that recipe, so I will save it for another time).

This pilaf is delicious, so healthy and SO satisfying.  It's also really easy and only dirties one pot (well, two if you count the pan to toast the almonds, but I don't even wash that afterwards - just wipe it out with a dry towel and it's clean).  It's almost too good to be true.

As always with quinoa, it can be bitter if you don't rinse it well, so don't skip that step even if you're in a hurry.  Most quinoa packages recommend a ratio of 1:2 (quinoa : water) but I prefer the ratio 1: 1.5 for a fluffier finished-product.

Quinoa and Kale Pilaf
serves 4
adapted from Food52

1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained (rinse dry quinoa in a fine mesh sieve under running water)
1 bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed and chopped into 1'' strips
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons sliced almonds
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium sauce pan heat 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add chopped shallots and saute 2-3 minutes until translucent.  Add water, quinoa and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, cover pot with the lid and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer 10 minutes, then add chopped kale on top of the quinoa and re-cover, allow to cook 5 more minutes.  Then, remove pot from the heat but keep it covered, allow it to steam another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, toast the sliced almonds in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and lightly toasted.  Keep a close eye to make sure they don't burn.  Remove from heat and allow almonds to cool to room temperature.

Once quinoa and kale have finished cooking and steaming, check to see that the kale is wilted and bright green and the quinoa is fully cooked:  all of the water should be absorbed, and if the quinoa still has a hard white center, recover the pot and allow to steam another 5 minutes or so until fully cooked.

Add the lemon juice and lemon zest to the pot as well as the remaining 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and toss together, combining well, season with salt and pepper as needed.  Transfer the pilaf to the serving dish and top with the toasted almonds and goat cheese.  Serve warm or at room temperature.



  1. Thank you so much for this delicious recipe! I made it for dinner tonight and both my hubby and I loved it! My husband liked it so much that he said I should make it next time we hang out with our foodie friends! (He almost never says that:)
    Thanks for a delicious side dish (or small dinner!)

    1. So glad you liked it! It's definitely one of those recipes that tastes as GOOD as it IS for you!


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