Tuesday, March 30, 2010

40 Meatless Meals: Quinoa Risotto with Broccoli Pesto

adapted from this source

5 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
3 medium garlic cloves
2/3 cup sliced or slivered almonds, toasted (divided)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 big pinches salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup heavy cream

1 c. uncooked quinoa*
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
3/4 c. white wine
3-4c. clear liquids, as described below

Steam the broccoli just long enough to take the raw edge off; reserve the water from steaming. Transfer the broccoli to a strainer and run under cold water until it stops cooking.

To make the broccoli pesto puree two cups of the cooked broccoli, the garlic, 1/2 cup of the almonds, Parmesan, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor (or use an immersion blender). Add the olive oil and cream bit at a time until the desired texture is reached.

Heat the oil and butter in a dutch oven or a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the quinoa and stir for a few minutes until the grains are shiny and fragrant. Add the wine, and cook, stirring constantly, until it is absorbed. Continue to add the reserved cooking water from the broccoli, vegetable stock, and/or water 1/2 c. at a time, stirring until absorbed. After most of the liquid has been used, start taste-testing the grains for doneness and season as desired.

Toss the quinoa and remaining broccoli with the pesto, starting with about half the pesto and adding more until the desired texture is reached. Top with more almonds and Parmesan if desired.

*Quinoa is a grain that is available in natural foods stores. You can also substitute various rices and grains in this recipe. Arborio rice, of course, works well when cooked with this method, and other grains may be cooked according to their package directions and used with this sauce.

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