Herbed Quinoa and Kale Casserole (Casseruola di Quinoa e Cavolo Nero alle Erbe)

This is what I make when I need to whip up something quick during the week.  We always have quinoa, alliums (i.e. onions, garlic, leeks, etc.) and eggs, and the kale can be swapped with another vegetable such as, zucchini, spinach or eggplant.  The one thing you should not swap is the white quinoa for other varieties (trust me, I’ve tried it.  There’s something about the fluffiness of the white quinoa that holds together and tastes much better in this than the red and black varieties), but feel free to play with the seasonings as well!

Herbs and Parmesan lend plenty of savory “umami” to this dish, so it’s a vegetarian (though not vegan) meal that your carnivorous friends will love too.  A dash of cayenne not only tastes great, but warms you up and strengthens those lungs and  blood vessels…perfect for battling nasty winter viruses.

Serves 4-6 

Ingredients:

grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil, for the baking dish

For the vegetables:

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 head Tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves sliced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary

2/3 cup white wine (or broth)

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the quinoa:

1 cup raw WHITE quinoa, rinsed and cooked in 1 cup broth + 1 cup water

1 1/2  teaspoons garlic powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp dried ground thyme

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling

2 large eggs, beaten

cayenne, to serve

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 2 quart baking dish (preferably with grapeseed oil, due to its high flash point).

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium-to-large pot and add the onion, garlic, carrot and rosemary.  Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about five minutes.  Add the bell pepper, cook for about a minute, and add the white wine.  Add the kale, cover, and cook for 3-5 minutes, allowing the leaves to wilt and get relatively tender (do not overcook).  Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from the heat.

Fold spices, parsley and Parmesan into cooked quinoa.  Add to cooked vegetables.

Fold the eggs into the vegetable and quinoa mixture.  Scrape into the greased baking dish (don’t smooth top if you like browned peaks, which I recommend), sprinkle with parmesan and place in oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the top is golden.

Serve while hot with a dash of cayenne!

Herbed Quinoa and Kale Casserole - The Clean Gourmet

Casseruola di Quinoa e Cavolo Nero alle Erbe:

4-6 porzioni

Ingredienti:

olio di vinacciolo o extra vergine d’oliva, per ungere

Per la verdura:

2 cucchiaini d’olio extra vergine d’oliva

1 cipolla gialla, spezzettata

4 spicchi d’aglio, tritati

1 grappolo di cavolo nero, tagliato coi gambi buttati

1 peperone rosso, spezzettato

1 carota media, pelata e affettata

2 cucchiaini di rosmarino fresco tritato

175 ml di vino bianco (o di brodo)

sale e pepe, a piacere

Per la quinoa:

170 grammi di quinoa bianca, sciacquata e cotta in 250 ml di brodo + 250 ml d’acqua

1 1/2  cucchiaini d’aglio in polvere, 1/2 cucchiaino di pepe nero, 1/2 cucchiaino di sale, 1/2 cucchiaino di timo in polvere

piccola manciata di prezzemolo fresco, tritato

manciata di grana, più dell’altro per spargere

2 uova, sbattute

peperoncino di Caienna, per servire

Cosa Fare:

Riscaldate il forno a 200 gradi e ungete una teglia da forno da 2 litri (preferibilmente con olio di vinacciolo, dato il punto di fuoco alto).

Riscaldate una pentola media-grande con l’olio d’oliva e aggiungete la cipolla, l’aglio, la carota ed il rosmarino.  Fateli cuocere, agitando spesso, finché le verdura non sia tenera (circa 5 minuti).  Quindi, uniteci il peperone, fate cuocere circa un minuto, e aggiungete il vino bianco.  Unite il cavolo rosso, coprite e fate cuocere per 3-5 minuti, facendolo avvizzire e tenerizzare (non scuocere però!).  Insaporite con sale e pepe, a piacere.  Spegnete il fuoco.

Incorporate le spezie, il prezzemolo ed il grana con la quinoa cotta.  Unite con la verdura cotta.

Mettete le uova insieme alla miscela di verdura e quinoa e mischiate, ma non troppo.  Versate tutto dentro la teglia da forno (non spianate se vi piacciono dei picchi rosolati, che consiglio fortemente), spargete con dell’altro grana grattugiato ed infornate.  Fate cuocere per 15-20 minuti, finché non sia rosolata.

Servite caldo con un pizzico di peperoncino di Caienna!

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