Quinoa with Pine Nuts & Porcini Mushrooms
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup dry porcini mushrooms
Shaved Parmesan cheese
Olive oil

Sauteed Potatoes & Asparagus
Half a bunch of asparagus
2 Russet potatoes

Citrus Dressing
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Cayenne Pepper
¼ tsp maple syrup
½ shallot, finely minced

Place the mushrooms in a cup and cover with water for 15 minutes or so – this will bring the porcinis to life so to speak.

Squeeze 2 oranges and 1 lemon out – pour the juice into a mason jar or a tall glass and add to it the extra virgin olive oil, the cayenne pepper (you be the judge how much of it you want in there), the maple syrup and the shallot. Set aside.

In pot, add 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa, bring to boil, reduce heat and cover letting a small bit of the pot remain uncovered (so that the steam can escape). Quinoa should be done within 20 minutes. When it is cooked through, it opens up and releases these tiny spirals. The texture should a bit firm and nutty to taste.

Concurrently, on high heat, fry the Russet potatoes, thinly sliced – I like to slice mine into halves lengthwise, and then split the long halves into two, and then thinly slice the potatoes. When crispy and nicely browned and almost done, add the sliced asparagus for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.

While prepping quinoa, in a small pan, over low heat, roast the pine nuts in a tsp of olive oil. Set aside when the pine nuts are golden brown. In the same pan, with a bit more olive oil, slowly cook the finely minced porcini mushrooms.

When quinoa is done, drain of the remaining water and place into a bowl. Add the pine nuts and the porcini mushrooms. Add salt and pepper to taste. Some like it saltier than others – I’m letting you be the judge of your own preference. Maybe you want to omit the salt altogether.

Shake up the citrus dressing again and pour over the quinoa/nut/mushroom mixture. Let stand for a few minutes before eating, so the flavors of the dressing are absorbed by the quinoa.

Place a few heaping tablespoons in the bowl and accompany with the potato/asparagus medley. Liberally sprinkle the shaved Parmesan over the quinoa.

I also served this with an avocado salad, but that’s a story for another day!

© 2024 Olga Massov