To Sup, Perchance To Dine

Continuing the Blue Plate Special theme, in which I hope to provide you with some quick-to-prepare meal ideas for those busy weeknights…..may I suggest a combination plate of quinoa, mushrooms, and green beans.

When I first tried quinoa I found the texture to be Intriguing.  But sometimes that quality can sashay too easily into Slightly Annoying.  Perhaps it’s a bit of a lightweight, overly feminine.  That’s what occurred to me the other day when I thought of balancing it with a little heft from Mr. Bulgur.  I think it helps.

I do get a little thrill out of rinsing the quinoa and draining it through a strainer.  It piles up in these formations like sandcastles (I’m sure there must be a term for that property) and I can never resist doing it at least a couple more times and feeling very young.

Quinoa Formation

Recipe:  Bulgur Quinoa Pilaf

½ c bulgur
½ c quinoa, rinsed
1 c water
½ c vegetable stock
2 tbsps olive oil
ground pepper
½ c parsley, minced
2 – 3 scallions, minced

Bring to a boil the water, stock, oil, and pepper.  Stir in the grains and cover.  Turn heat to lowest setting and simmer for 12 to 15 min.  Stir in herbs.  Serves 4.

Recipe:  Portobellos Balsamico

3 large Portobello mushrooms
1/3 c olive oil
¼ c balsamic vinegar
1 large clove garlic, minced

Wash, halve and slice mushrooms thickly.   Whisk together the remaining ingredients and toss with mushrooms in bowl.  Spread out on baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, turning at half-time.  Serves 4.

Recipe:  Pumpkin Seed Green Beans

1 lb. green beans, trimmed and washed
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 c pumpkin seeds

In large skillet heat oil on med-high.  Add still wet green beans and cover.  Stirring occasionally, cook for about 5 min.  Lower heat and if beans are too dry, add a few sprinkles of water, and cover.  Cook for another 10 minutes.  Throw in pumpkin seeds and stir.  Serves 4.

Combination Plate 102

There you have your easy-to-put-together square meal.  But if you want to up the ante and turn these basics into something special, I offer the following menu…..

                                                 Pomegranate Pilaf                                                                      Portobellini Taleggio
                                    Gussied-Up Green Beans

Recipe:  Pomegranate Pilaf

Follow recipe for Bulgur Quinoa Pilaf above and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranate Pilaf

Pomegranate Pilaf

Recipe:  Portobellini Taleggio

2 tbsps olive oil
4 small to medium sized portobellos
1 large leek, washed and sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 to 3 oz. taleggio cheese, sliced

Remove stems from mushrooms and reserve for some other use.
Rub some of the olive oil on the mushrooms and roast at 375 degrees for 10 min., stem-side down.  Turn over and roast for 5 min. more.
Saute leeks in remaining oil, covered,  until soft.  About 6 or 7 min.
Stuff leeks into mushrooms, sprinkle with garlic, and top with slices of taleggio.
Broil for a few minutes until cheese is well melted.  Serves 4.

Portobellini Taleggio

Portobellini Taleggio

Recipe:  Gussied-Up Green Beans

Follow recipe above for Pumpkin Seed Green Beans.
Add about ¼ c shelled pistachios to skillet and stir.
Remove beans only to a platter and incorporate into them about 2 oz. of asiago cheese which has been cut into matchstick pieces.  Top with the nuts and seeds.
Garnish with slivered olives, about a dozen, and halved grape tomatoes.  Serve immediately.

Gussied-Up Green Beans

To dine, perchance to feast……..add a soup…..I’m thinking a tomatoey broth with slivers of golden beets and coriander.  Add a salad…….a simple belgian endive with slices of tomato.  Did someone say dessert?  This probably calls for something chocolate!

This entry was posted in ASIAGO, Blue Plate Specials, bulgur, cheese, Green Beans, Mushrooms, olives, POMEGRANATE, Portobellos, pumpKin seeds, Quinoa, Side Dishes, simple food, TALEGGIO, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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