I made this on Friday – another recipe from Anna Jones – A Modern Way to Cook.
I do love Quinoa and have made some pretty awesome things with it in the past. For me this wasn’t one of them.
The whole dish was lovely. The addition of the feta, parmesan, pine nuts and pea puree were the highlights of the dish – adding salty flavours (the cheeses), crunch (the nuts) and a sweet freshness (the peas). But the risotto was a bit of a let down. It was a little bit bland.
The quinoa is cooked in a similar way as a risotto – but not quite. After frying a couple of thinly sliced leaks in oil you add the quinoa until it start to pop. You then add white wine and lemon juice – let that absorb – and then finally add the stock until that is absorbed. The whole thing takes around 30 minutes. Sometimes that quinoa just refuses to budge.
Once you’ve got your gloopy porridge consistency your quinoa is done. Stir in some shredded greens until they wilt. Finally stir in some grated parmesan to give it a cheesy risotto feel.
While your waiting for your risotto you blitz some peas with some mint and basil until it’s smooth – then add seasoning and the juice of half a lemon. I could eat the puree on its own – maybe on toast or just as a dip – it was amazingly sweet and fresh.
Assembly is simply puddling your risotto in a bowl, crumbling some more parmesan and then some feta, some toasted pine nuts and of course the awesome peas puree.
All in all this is a good dish but you just expect a bit more. The greens and the leeks get lost – you just wouldn’t know they were there.
Making this again I’d have to give the quinoa more zing – it needs more citrus I think. It’s a shame to rely on the dressings to make the dish nice – the quinoa should have been the highlight and it wasn’t.
I’ll experiment and see if I can make it better.