Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Warm Quinoa, Spinach, and Shiitake Salad

When my coworker and blogging enthusiast, Amanda says that she is about to get her Martha Stewart on, Corcoran Street Kitchen takes notice. Amanda found this Warm Quinoa, Spinach, and Shiitake Salad online and made it last night. She took some pictures while she was making it and brought half of it in for lunch (which she shared with me and I loved it). Now I am a sucker for a Warm Spinach Salads, so I was excited for her to make this. It was very filling and totally delicious, while being perfectly healthy, so I will pass it along to you. Amanda halved the recipe, but I am giving you the full 4 servings as a dinner salad that Martha stipulates on her website because changing anything from Martha just feels wrong. Martha recommends this dish as a meatless alternative for Thanksgiving. I actually love this idea because it would make a nice side dish for non-veggies and the veggies would have something hearty and delicious to eat. If you have any veggies coming over for the big day, you might want to give this a try.

Warm Quinoa, Spinach, and Shiitake Salad directly from Martha
1/2 cup red-wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 pounds fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 pound baby spinach
8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

A quick note about Quinoa (correctly pronounced ˈkiːnwɑː, but originally pronounced Key-NO-ah by me). This is a grain that reminds me of a cross between barley and cous-cous. It is very filling, full of fiber, and healthy for us without being totally gross. You can find it in most regular grocery stores in the organic section.
1. Make the dressing by whisking together vinegar, oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl.
2. On a large rimmed broiler-proof baking sheet, toss mushrooms with half the dressing (reserve the rest).
3. Broil the mushrooms, tossing occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and mushrooms are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. You can also just do this on your stove top in a frying pan.
4. In a small saucepan, combine quinoa, 3 cups water, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium.

5. Cover, and simmer until liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Place spinach in a large bowl; add hot mushrooms, quinoa, and reserved dressing. Toss to combine (spinach will wilt slightly).
7. Top with crumbled feta, and serve immediately.

Lunch Tip: If you want to make this up and serve half for your dinner and half for lunch tomorrow, only mix up half of the salad that night. Reserve the other half of your spinach and the other half of the qunioa mixture separately. Nuke the warm portion the next day and combine with spinach and feta for a perfect, soggy-free second round. Thanks, Amanda.

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