Thought for your Thursday:
If it’s not my party, can I still cry if I want to?
Also, why was she crying at her party? WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO HER?
I want to know, okay?
Quinoa with pesto and balsamic-roasted asparagus
Did you see what I did there? I made up a fancy name for this run-of-the-mill food thing and now you get to eat it. Cool, right? I wish I could write a fancy inspired story about where this came from but I can’t. All I know is that sometimes, you just gotta eat what you have and when we flew back from southern town, this is all we had. Well, minus the asparagus. That’s a different layer of the made-up-ed-ness.
Now set your oven to 350 degrees F and close them eyes.
For the pesto
- 25 gms parsley leaves (this is about err…1 1/2 cup, I think)
- 10 gms/2 large clove garlic, chopped roughly or not at all (you can use a little more if you want. I am the one that goes overboard. This is me restraining myself.)
- 90 gms almonds (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the roasted asparagus
- 20 asparagus spears (120 gms), with the tougher bottom 1/4 of it erased from the face of the earth. Sort of.
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 green onions
- Crack or two of fresh ground black pepper (what. a. snob)
For the quinoa
- 1 cup of the mixed bag of quinoa, rinsed and drained
- Sesame seeds and lemon
Assuming your oven is at 350 degrees right now, which mine is definitely not, place the almonds on a baking sheet and pop them into the oven for about 5-7 minutes. This should get em roasted and fragrant and a lot more snack-worthy than usual. This may or may not be a good thing while recipe-testing. If you don’t want to roast them almonds, don’t. Un-roasted almonds work fine too. I tried. I survived.
Once the almonds have worked on their tan, roughly chop them up. Your eardrums will thank you. Toss all the pesto ingredients and half of the olive oil into a food processor. This kitchen appliance thing is not my favouritest of parts but I do it for the fans. The whole two of them. Kitchen fairies, I call them. Turn on the food processor and give it a long whirl. While the stuff is spinning, pour in the remaining olive oil in a thin stream. Little by little, the pesto will start coming together. You might need a leeeeetle more olive oil to help this. Just remember, we’re not perfect. There’s no need to pretend.
Meanwhile, in another part of the world, scoop the quinoa into 2 cups of water or stock (your choice) and bring to a simmer on medium heat. As soon as it get to simmering, cover it and let it cook for about 15 minutes with the heat turned down slightly. It’s done when all the water is soaked up. Kind of like rice.
While the quinoa is cooking, cut the asparagus into 1 1/2 inch pieces and spread them on a baking sheet lined with foil. Coat with balsamic vinegar, olive, oil and pepper and put it in the oven for 15 minutes. While the asparagus roasts, chop up the green onions finely. At the 10-minute roasting mark, pull out the asparagus tray and sprinkle the green onions on the top. Put it back in the oven for 5 more minutes and it’s done.
To assemble, mix the quinoa with pesto and top with asaparagus and sesame seeds. Squeeze lemon juice over and eat. Should serve 4. If it doesn’t, check your pockets.
Now ask me what’s for lunch.