Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Easy-Peasy (and Fava and Asparagus-y)

When we got home from Bali my sister was in town, which was great though she had to put up with me being ready for bed at 9:30 due to jet lag. However, we ate one night at the Tasting Kitchen then the second night at Osteria Mozza. Both extraordinary. Sky and I then had 2 nights of semi-normalcy before his sister and one of his brothers arrived so we could celebrate a family birthday at Pitfire Pizza. That was Friday; on Sunday it was Mothers' Day and we had a big brunch with my mom, his mom, his siblings, and their kids down in Newport Beach.

All this to say there has been a lot of semi-decadent eating over the last 2 weeks, which left my body craving clean simple veggies and grains. Baby and mama wanted a break from white flour, sugar, sauces, cheese. So on Monday night I raided the fridge of farmers' market goodies I'd picked up and came up with what I'm about to share with you. It doesn't even really need a recipe it's so easy, but it looked so pretty I couldn't resist.

Lemon-Scented Quinoa with English Peas, Fava Beans and Purple Asparagus
serves 3

1 c quinoa
1 bunch purple asparagus
1 lb fava beans in pods
2c English peas in pods
1 lemon
Fleur de sel or other good salt

1. Prep veggies: remove favas and peas from pods, wash and trim asparagus.

2. Cook quinoa by adding quinoa to 2 c boiling water. Cover and let simmer approximately 20 min.

3. While quinoa is cooking, boil a couple inches of water in a large saucepan and blanch vegetables individually (favas, peas, asparagus) for about 1 minute--taste after that--they should be crisp-tender. When each batch of veggies is done, remove with slotted spoon and set aside.

4. When blanching is finished, favas should have cooled enough that you can slip their skins off. Gently pierce light green skin with your fingernail and slip bean inside out. Discard skins; reserve beans.

5. When quinoa is ready (you'll be able to see the curlie-q inside each grain and water will be absorbed), remove lid and squeeze some lemon juice in there. How much is up to you. I used the juice from half a big lemon. Grate some lemon zest and toss in there as well with a little salt.

6. Melt a couple tablespoons of butter (or heat olive oil) over low heat in a large saute pan. Add blanched veggies and toss gently with butter for a few minutes til warm and lightly coated. Add a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel. Remove from heat.

7. Plate quinoa, top with veggies. Sprinkle a little extra grated lemon zest on the top and serve with Fleur de Sel and fresh pepper.

I served it with some tofu I'd sauteed with a little garlic and a cucumber salad. It would also be yummy with a poached egg on top......

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