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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tonight's Blaaaaaaahg entry is brought to you by Sumarocca Cava and the Phone Book, which Baby J is tearing apart while chanting, "No, no, no!"

My sister works at this restaurant in DC called Perry's. It's a rooftop place in Adams Morgan. Very cool. I was invited there recently as birth control for the staff; Baby J enjoyed a screaming, squirming fest while I ate alone, mostly with my hands. I let him crawl on the floor while I tossed bread at him and he smeared chewed bread all over the table. And splashed in my water, leaving chunks of bread in that, too. I did manage to shotgun a glass of the Bellenda Prosecco, which was quite tasty. Not exactly the picture of serene, hip motherhood. Chunky water aside, I had a great meal and fell in love with a quinoa salad that came with the grilled asparagus appetizer. I attempted to make it tonight for dinner and more or less succeeded.

Here it is:

First, make three cups of quinoa according to the directions on the package. My package said to bring one cup of quinoa and two cups of water to a boil and let them simmer for ten to fifteen minutes, or until the water is absorbed. At Perry's, the quinoa tasted better than that. My sister asked and it turns out that, after they boil it, they bake it to get it crispy and chewy. I spread my three cups of cooked quinoa on a cookie sheet, drizzled it with olive oil and cooked it at 450° for about 12 minutes. The pieces around the edges were starting to look toasty. I put the baked quinoa in a bowl, including scraping the chewy bits off the pan, because I like chewy bits.

Let the quinoa cool and add the following:

1/2 cup roasted red pepper, chopped (roast it yourself, buy the kind in the jar or - my favorite - buy a few slices from the olive bar thingy at your local Fancy Mart)

1/2 cup sliced dried apricots (do me a favor and make the special trip to the Fancy Mart for the unsulphured, unsweetened kind. They really are better.)

1/2 cup chopped black olives

1/4 cup chopped green onions (green part only, unless you like raw onions and want a kick. Frankly, they give me gas, so I stick with the green part. I've actually become one of those creepy old people who tells waiters, "I like them, but they don't like me!" in reference to raw onions. I need to stop doing that, because it's really vile.)

Stir it up and drizzle with more olive oil. Add salt if you must.

When you serve it, crumble a little bit of goat cheese on the top.

At Perry's, they serve it with grilled asparagus. I roasted my asparagus instead, because I'm lazy. I also served some roasted okra, because I had some, my kids love it and it's long and green, like asparagus.

I also added pine nuts for protein, because we ate the salad and veggies as a meal.

When we finished eating, I stirred the leftover crumbled goat cheese into the salad. Just so you know, bad idea. The quinoa sticks to the goat cheese and clumps. It looks like a bad appetizer from the seventies. It's too gunky and nowhere near as pretty, but it still tastes just fine.

E, if you're reading this, you'll have to ask the kitchen peeps at Perry's if I came close. And thank them for me, because I think I'm adding it to my party menu. It would be great as a side to grilled stuff or on it's own. For a luncheon, I'd add the pine nuts and serve it over mixed greens.

Namasté, y'all!


truffle said...

I believe quinoa is already high in protein.

I make a pilaf with it and only add nuts to add a bit of texture, I shall have to try roasting it.

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