Happy Saint Patrick’s Day. I can’t believe it’s the 17th of March and when I got up this morning I was faced with this:
The pansies I oh so carefully planted last weekend are buried in the stuff. I just hope they survive. Where is Spring? It’s not supposed to be 23 degrees in mid-March! Nevertheless, it’s still Saint Patrick’s Day, meaning all things Irish. It’s also a great reason to stock the fridge with Guinness. Okay, I’ve never needed a special reason to stock up on Guinness, but for those who do, now is your chance.
Today’s dish is another repeat. Not a repeat on the blog, but another amazing dish that I liked so much I wanted to make it and eat it a second time in short order. It’s not actually Irish, but it does contain cabbage, so I guess we can go there.
I am not a vegetarian by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m also not strictly a meat person. Hmm, what DO I mean by that? Well, I would never be happy having a chunk of meat with a side of vegetables for dinner every night. My food has to have something extra. It could be a sauce, a burst of lemon, perhaps some heat, but you will almost never see me eating a plain piece of protein seasoned with salt and pepper and that’s it. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good steak, simply seasoned, but make that on occasion, not as a steady diet.
This dish is a vegetarian dish with a lot going on. The quinoa and chickpeas provide protein, you get some nice saltiness from the olives and the lemon really brightens it up. I eat this with a small container of plain Greek yogurt on the side for lunch and find that it fills me up just fine until dinner. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Toasted Quinoa Sauté with Lemon, Cabbage, and Dill
I have only made this recipe with red quinoa; however, I see no reason why you could not make it with any variety. If you can’t find Savoy cabbage you could also use regular green cabbage. If your pan is not big enough to cook all the cabbage at once, you can cook it in two batches. I used Castelvetrano olives from the olive bar at Whole Foods for this, but Cerignola or even pitted Kalamata olives would also work. This is a very flexible recipe that can be altered according to what you can find or have on hand.
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided plus more for seasoning
1/2 cup red quinoa
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 head (approximately 1 pound) Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 ounces pitted large Green olives, halved
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
Greek yogurt or sour cream for serving
Bring water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium size saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in quinoa and return to a boil. Cover saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover the pan, raise the heat to high and toast the quinoa until dry, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, about 5 minutes.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the cabbage and 1 teaspoon salt and sauté until the cabbage is soft and golden brown. If the pan appears too dry, add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Add the quinoa, raise the heat to high, stirring it into the cabbage until for about 2 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining ingredients, except for the yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with Greek yogurt or sour cream.
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine