White bean, broccoli, quinoa ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

10 February 2010

White bean, broccoli, quinoa

Man, it has totally been quinoa week around here. Just one cup gave me not only the kale-quinoa tacos, but near-constant quesadillas, a massive red onion-mushroom-kale fried not rice but quinoa concoction, and this.

White bean, broccoli, quinoa

olive oil
cooked white beans
broth of some type
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, sage, thyme
optional: hot sauce, parmesan

Start by making the quinoa. You can of course use other grains: pretty much anything would work well here. For quinoa, though, rinse the grains well before you cook them. Quinoa is coasted with natural saponin, which makes it taste like soap to birds and other predators. So essentially you're eliminating one of its natural defenses before you feast on its tender flesh.

Ok! Cook the quinoa in twice its volume of water. I put mine in the rice cooker; you can do whatever you want. Also, if you make a whole cup you will have a week's worth of supplies! I'm just saying.

While it's steaming, soften some chopped onion, garlic, or a combination in olive oil. Add a few big pinches of sage and thyme, plus a good shake or two of red pepper flakes. Keep the heat fairly low so you get some slow caramelization.

Now it is time to add the white beans, or any other kind of cooked bean you think would be delicious. I was using white beans frozen in their cooking broth, so I just chucked the entire block into the pan and let it melt down. You can used freshly boiled beans, canned beans: whatever. So add your beans to the pot, along with maybe a scant half cup of broth or water. This liquid will mostly evaporate off, so the amount isn't critical; you just want to keep everything from sticking to the pan.

While the beans warm up, chop up as much broccoli as you want. Since you can never have enough broccoli, thickly peel some of the stem and chop it up along with the florets. Yeah!

When the beans are hot through and most of the liquid has evaporated, throw all your broccoli in the pan. Add a big pinch of salt, stir it up, and put the lid on the pan. Leave it this way for three or four minutes and the broccoli will steam perfectly. Taste the resulting business for salt and pepper. If there's substantial extra liquid left, you can cook for another minute or two to evaporate it off, but otherwise, you are done.

Eat it: fluff some quinoa and put it in a bowl, then top with beans and broccoli. You can also add any black pepper, red pepper flakes, toasty nuts, or cheese you so desire. I had one bowl plain and one with cheese; both were delightful. You can also add a shake of hot pepper sauce, if you like that kind of thing. For the best result, mix everything up in a massive mess before eating. It is delicious.

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