Weekend of Delights

Man: I just wrapped up one of the best weekends in recent memory. Spent most of this morning on a recipe-organization project (which is still underway, if you were wondering), then met up with Alex for an afternoon of record shopping & other adventures. Oh, were there adventures! I got a Barbadian folk guitar album & a few others, and then it was well beyond lunchtime and Alex and I felt as though we both might pass away, so we hit Zeitgeist for refreshments. Bloody Marys, because they are the spiciest — cough & sputter spicy — and because they have the saltiest olives. Burgers with homefries because I recently discovered that I like mayonnaise (WHAT?), and because a burger sounded good. I’ll tell ya, Zeitgeist does homefries right. I don’t know their secret (though I suspect it’s rooted in oil), but their fries are golden-orange-and-crunchy on the outside, pillowy within — a rare find.

Lest you think I subsisted entirely on candy and mayo this weekend, think again! The above photo depicts the veggies — Brussels sprouts, broccoli florets, and fennel — that I roasted with chickpeas and golden raisins and served over quinoa.

The dish was partially inspired by a recipe in this month’s Bon Appetit; my take includes a few random ingredients — ones that make for small, indisputable improvements. It was also inspired by my desire to cook from my pantry, if only partially. The resulting dinner was relatively light and diverse of texture — an 8 of 10, in Garkypoints.

Quinoa with Fennel, Brussels Sprouts, and Golden Raisins (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • Six ounces Brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved (or quartered, if you have unusually large sprouts)
  • One fennel bulb, sliced into rounds
  • Approximately one cup broccoli florets, found near the back of the fridge
  • One cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Scant 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt, fresh black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes
  • One cup (uncooked) quinoa
  • One tablespoon lime juice
  • Crumbled goat cheese (for serving)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 400. While the oven heats, prepare your veggies for roasting. Place sprouts, fennel, broccoli, and chickpeas in a bowl; toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Spread on a baking sheet, creating an even layer.
  2. To the layer of veggies, add your golden raisins. Bake the veggie/raisin combo for about 35 minutes, flipping once.
  3. As the vegetables roast, prepare your quinoa. Fill a saucepan with 2 cups water and your quinoa; bring to a boil; and reduce to a simmer, cooking until the grain has absorbed all the liquid. Remove from heat and transfer quinoa to a large bowl.
  4. Once the veggies have cooked, allow them to cool for a moment before transferring them to the quinoa bowl. Blend ingredients well, adding lime juice as you stir.
  5. Serve quinoa salad topped with crumbled goat cheese.

I’m especially fond of the flavor combination produced by the fennel and golden raisins (which aren’t as intensely sweet as their cousins). Perhaps I should add to my list of resolutions a plan to eat more fennel…

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