According to Google, a Pilaf is: A Middle Eastern or Indian dish of rice or wheat, with vegetables and spices, typically having added meat or fish. Dictionary.comsaid its: a Middle Eastern dish consisting of sautéed, seasoned rice steamed in bouillon, sometimes with poultry, meat or shellfish.Well, that’s not what I made for lunch yesterday, regardless of what Madame Stewart calls it. *sigh*
Lunch: a Quinoa-Spinach Pilaf and a Cauliflower-Pecorino Tart. Both are from who-knows-what-issues of EveryDay Food. (I’ve been going through *all* the recipe magazines in the house and tearing out all the recipes I want to make One Day – and I didn’t even realize that the EveryDay Food pages aren’t labelled with month/year. Apologies).
So I was sitting with the babies while ripping out pages, sorta looking at the recipes, and I happened to think a) these two recipes looked yummy and b) I have most ingredients on hand. Voila! Lunch Menu!
I defrosted the puff pastry on the counter, gathered all the other ingredients – did you know that in professional kitchens there’s a PHRASE for gathering all the ingredients together? Mis En Place. Don’t we sound all educated now?
Spinach – check. Quinoa – check. Puff Pastry – check. Pecorino – check. Broccoli – nope. Have Cauliflower…TAA DAA! Ooooh – I have gruyere…a nice melting cheese… should I sub out the Pecorino Romano for gooey Gruyere?? I tried to channel C’s voice in my head…Ok ok, only 1 substitution allowed per recipe. *sheesh*
Once the puff pastry was thawed I rolled it out on top of a Silpat(I ran outta parchment paper like a week ago) and then transferred the Silpat to a baking sheet – wait, a Silpat is a silicon sheet that sits inside your baking sheets, like a reusable parchment paper. Cleans easier than scrubbing the baking sheet. You season the veg with a little garlic, olive oil, s/p and crushed red pepper flakes. You score the edge of the pastry to make a border (I also rolled the edges in a bit to make a more distinct edge to the tart) and then add the seasoned cauliflower florets, top with shaved Pecorino and pop into a hot oven for 30 minutes.
C said that Next Time(I love when he uses those words) I make this, I should add another 1/2 cup of cheese to the pastry 1st, THEN layer on the veg and the other 1/2C of cheese. He said it was good, but more cheese would make this even better. Baby review: J ate all the cauliflower off the tart, R only ate the pastry. They make a good team.
The Quinoa – meh. It’s an ok side dish. Nothing spectacular. R wouldn’t even taste it. She’s being funny about spinach lately…. J had some. Seemed to like it.
To make it, you fry a small onion in some olive oil, add in some garlic and then the washed/drained quinoa – that must be where the ‘pilaf’ part comes in, the frying in the pan…. So you’ve got some onion, garlic and quinoa all set to go – and you add some water, bring it to a boil and let it simmer away on the stove for 20 minutes or so until all the water is absorbed. Then you add in the spinach. I didn’t have 5C of fresh on hand, so I used 10oz of defrosted. When everything is all mixed together, you add in some lemon zest and season with s/p. I dunno that I’d try this recipe again… I really wanna like quinoa. I really really do…. I keep remembering the Quinoa salad my friend Barbara makes…THAT was good.
Cauliflower-Pecorino Tart from Everyday Food Magazine
1 Sheet Puff Pastry, thawed
1 Head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
2T Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, I used crushed. If using whole cloves – slice thinly
1/2t Red Pepper Flakes
1/2C Shaved Pecorino Romano (2 ounces)
Oven at 400ºF.
Roll out puff pastry on a lightly floured work surface (I just used the Silpat), then transfer to either a parchment lined baking sheet, or just lift the Silpat off the counter and onto your baking sheet.
With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry 1/2″ from the edge, creating a border.
Toss Veg + Oil + Garlic + Red Pepper. Season with Salt/Pepper.
Scatter atop the pastry.
Bake until pastry is a deep golden color and puffed up, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before cutting into squares.
Serve warm or room temp.
**I used the entire head of cauliflower for this recipe and it turned out to be twice as much as I needed for the tart. I threw the rest of the florets onto a separate baking sheet and roasted them to eat later in the week.
Quinoa-Spinach Pilaf from Everyday Food Magazine
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Small Yellow Onion, finely chopped
1 Clove Garlic, chopped/minced
1 cup Quinoa, rinsed & drained
1 1/4 cup Water
5 cup Fresh Spinach (I used 10 ounces defrosted)
1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
1- Melt butter in a large saucepan.
2- Add in onion, stir. Add in garlic, stir.
3- When softened (3-4 minutes) add in Quinoa, stir.
4- Add water and bring to a boil.
5- Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until water is absorbed (about 20 minutes).
6- Off heat, add in spinach and zest, then season with salt and pepper.