Monday, January 09, 2006

But Really, I Don't Wanna Win

Say you have four wacky ingredients, and a funny lady is holding a hypothetical gun to your head, daring you to make a tasty dish out of them. Say the four ingredients are quinoa, cashews, yogurt and “something baby.” Oh, yeah, baby, it's Paper Chef.
Think fast!
Hey, I can swing either way: sweet or savory. I’m less inclined to be sweet, but the recipe I posted yesterday for my Paper Chef entry, kinda on the sweet side, was simply the first thing that came to my – no, confession: Cranky’s – mind. (Well, he only thought of it. I "executed" it! Pardon the “gun” reference.)
But there was all that leftover cooked quinoa, and it began to look like so much Incan bulghur, sitting there on the plate.
In a flash of culture-clashing inventiveness (nah, I got the idea off the Internet), I decided to make this summery dish – because for reasons unexplained by intelligent design, I’ve still got all these summery ingredients growing on my patio.
I didn’t have enough tomatoes for a perfect balance, and I probably could have used more parsley, too. (Hey, it’s the middle of winter!) There was a cucumber in the fridge I probably ought to have peeled and diced and added…
But, even so, I liked the results very much. No, really, a LOT. Chewing on cooked quinoa is, I have to confess, addictive, and the flavors came together really well, especially with bites of arugula.
I smoothed out the tabbouleh with yogurt, because a tub of it was sitting right there in front of me on the kitchen counter after making the previous dish, and because the lady with the “gub” said I had to; ditto the cashews. I wanted to season some extra yogurt to drizzle over the tabbouleh, so I consulted (proudly, defiantly) Joy of Cooking, where I learned that allspice and black pepper were considered logical choices. Wow, the allspice was still on the counter from the previous recipe, too. Come to think of it, that lemon was still there, as well. But what to do for the “baby” ingredient? Simple. Baby tomatoes from the patio, plus baby leaves of parsley and mint.
Not baby enough? OK, how’s this: The arugula might have been baby arugula! But I didn’t card it, so I can’t say for sure.
Still unconvinced?
Then this is my final offer: I named it after baby-faced powerhouse D’Brickashaw Ferguson. If you don’t like it, take it up with him.

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup chopped cashews
1 tablespoon minced mint leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons plain whole-milk yogurt
Lettuce leaves (I used arugula)

Technique: Ha, technique? Way too fancy a word for this. Just stir everything but the lettuce leaves together in a bowl. Let the flavors mingle at room temperature for 10 minutes or so, while you go set up – oh, right, the tripod’s still set up from shooting the last recipe.
Decorate plates with lettuce leaves, and spoon portions of tabbouleh on top.
Drizzle the tabbouleh with some more plain yogurt which you have seasoned to taste with ground allspice and freshly ground black pepper.

Serves two or three as an appetizer.

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Lisa--In a Nutshell said...

Sounds good! Probably a nice crunch, with the cashews.

And, hey, Cookiecrumb: Are you publicly saying that you swing both ways? Just asking. ;-)

b'gina said...

Sheesh. Some people are such overachievers. ;+) But I'm going to the Fruit Basket and get some quinoa, among other things.

Kudzu said...

This was a DeLightful way to start my day! I hope that Mr. DeBrickashaw will name one of his offspring Quinoa.

On a more serious note, I'm always looking for non-wheat alternatives to serve to a loved one who has allergies. Thanks for another bright idea.

cookiecrumb said...

Lisa, you nut. :)
b'gina: I think I'm going to keep using this stuff; it's really pleasant.
kudzu: Very, very low in gluten, easier to cook than rice, super high in protein. High-density nutrient!

Kimberly said...

You're so right that chewing on cooked quinoa is addictive. (I'm sure you're right about other things, too! :-) I hadn't ever cooked it prior to Paper Chef, but I'll definitely do so again.

cookiecrumb said...

Kimberly: And to think I almost chickened out on Paper Chef this month. I guess I'll buy more of the stuff. (Now I'm going to go see what you came up with.)

kudzu said...

Cookiecrumb -- Oh, I know what quinoa is, and almost every other non-wheat grain. I just meant that I liked your treatment in this lighter tabbouleh type creation. I'm very, very fond of farro and think it's especially good in winter. Thanks, k.

MagicTofu said...

It's when you see dishes like your tabouleh that I am wondering: why didn't I thought of doing something like that!

mrs d said...

Okay, the D'Brickashaw thing is just killing me.