Monday, April 25, 2011

Bacon Quinoa with Almonds and Herbs

Bacon Quinoa with Almonds and Herbs

Don't tell Diana, but I'm not as in love with quinoa as I used to be. When the superfood first came into my radar, I put it in everything from salads to muffins to bread. I rarely seek out new quinoa recipes now, but once in a while something pops up that I can't resist trying.

Bacon Quinoa with Almonds and Herbs

I don't remember exactly how I came across this recipe, but I'm so glad I made it. Defiling the healthiness of quinoa with bacon feels naughty and so fun. I wanted to make this more spring like so I added roasted asparagus, Meyer lemon zest, and sun-dried tomatoes. It was a great experiment that really played off. I loved all of the spring flavors especially that bright lemon zest. The toasted almonds give this great crunch and the tomatoes provide a nice balanced sweetness. The original recipe says this is a great side dish and you can punch it up with roasted chicken or a poached egg which I decided to try. This would be an excellent addition to any brunch menu.

Bacon Quinoa with Almonds and Herbs

Bacon Quinoa with Almonds and Herbs
(Adapted from Food & Wine, November 2009)

Makes 4 servings

1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 small shallot, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 sage sprig
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 teaspoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread the asparagus evenly over the pan. Toss the asparagus with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for 10 minutes until browned and the tips are slightly crispy. Let cool for about 5 minutes. Cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan.

Add the shallot and garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant and the shallot has softened. Add the quinoa, chicken stock and sage to the pan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over low heat. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until the stock is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through. Remove the pan from the heat and let the quinoa sit, covered, for 5 minutes.

Discard the sage and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Stir in the chives, parsley, almonds, asparagus, sun dried tomatoes, bacon, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and serve warm or at room temperature with a poached egg if desired.

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vanillasugarblog said...

you're not? ha! and i thought you were the quinoa queen!
well you were the one that got me to finally try it and after researching it i was amazed to find that it actually has almost all 5 of the amino acids in it. pretty interesting little superfood indeed. your eggs always look so perfect.

Kelly said...

I love healthy AND naughty in a single dish. Perfect yin/yang combo. I think your relationship with quinoa is what I've experienced whenever a wonder/healthy food come around. I get excited at first, OD a little and then pull back.

Erica said...

I love how its sort of Mediterranean and the poached egg on top is a fun add in. I haven't made quinoa in a while...I always forget how tasty it is.

Kristen said...

So healthy and colorful! A super food and a super recipe. Love it!

Joanne said...

I think the combination of naughty with virtuous is like yin and yang...they just go so well together! Gorgeous dish and i love that you topped it with an egg!

Gaby said...

ummmm next time you make this you should totally let me know and I will casually show up at your door with a fork in hand! AH-MAZING

Amanda said...

You make everything look so beautiful!

Katie Mar said...

i just made some quinoa and this is putting mine to shame
it looks awesome!!
how do you get your eggs so PERFECT??? mine always end up scrambled :(

Rachel said...

Mmmm bacon. I don't think bacon is unhealthy unless it's the only food you're eating. Everything in moderation, right? I've never tried topping quinoa with a poached egg, but it sounds like a great idea!

Diana said...

I'm going to ignore that whole part about not loving quinoa that much any more. I'm not listening, I'm not listening! (Or should I say, not reading?)

But to cut to the chase - LOVE this recipe! I may have to make it this weekend with the roasted tomatoes I have hibernating in my freezer!

Banana Wonder said...

Whatever Diana says, bacon is #winning! Now that I am off my 50 day vegan fast... Quinoa whaaa?

marla said...

I love everything about this quinoa, especially the little bit of bacon :)

Amanda- Eating in Winnipeg said...

oh i've added this one too! I just LOVE quinoa!! i can't wait to try this! it's on my list, i'll post about it too!