Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lemon and Asparagus Quinoa Risotto

This is a very tangy dish, but I loved it. It's great as a vegetarian meal because the quinoa is a complete protein and you're getting a good serving of veggies, too. You can also adjust the amount of Greek yogurt and/or lemon juice to make it less tangy, if you like. It makes really delicious leftovers for lunch the next day.

Asparagus & Lemon Quinoa Risotto
Modified from Petite Kitchenesse 

    2 1/4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
    3/4 cup quinoa
    1 cup asparagus, chopped
    1/2 medium onion, chopped
    1/2 lemon (zest & juice)
    1 Tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Soak quinoa in a bowl of water for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, bring stock to a boil in a large pot (you’ll want to use a pot that has a well-fitting lid). Keep the lid on the pot when you aren’t actually transferring things in and out of the pot, to keep evaporation to a minimum.

Once the stock begins to boil, add asparagus. Boil for 5–7 minutes, then transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Place in the fridge or an ice bath. Bring the stock down to barely a simmer and cover.

While asparagus cooks, heat 1 1/2 tsp of olive oil in a large, shallow pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and saute for about 3-4 minutes. Drain quinoa and add to the pan. Saute for about a minute, then lower heat slightly. Using a ladle (or something similar), ladle in just enough stock to cover the quinoa. Let simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed, then ladle in the same amount of stock. Continue until the liquid is gone, and the quinoa is fully cooked (when the white germ ring becomes visible around the outside, about 10-15 minutes). If you’re running low on liquid and your quinoa isn’t fully cooked, just add some water to your stock pot, bring it to a simmer, and then continue with that.

As the last of your liquid is being absorbed, add in asparagus. Once the liquid is gone, remove from heat and stir in remaining 1 1/2 tsp oil, Greek yogurt, lemon juice and zest, and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

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