Saturday, June 25, 2011

Day 501 : Fast, Easy Fresh Dinners for One

Last night after a long week I planned on a nice relaxing night at home -- a homecooked meal, a glass of my favorite rose wine, the Yankees game, my book, and of course cuddling with my dog.

You know those nights where you are in the mood to make something elaborate and intricate in the kitchen, spending hours slaving by the stove making sure each element of the meal comes out perfectly? Well last night was not one of them for me-- I wanted to make something simple and delish.

I decided to make a quinoa, mâché, avocado salad with fresh asparagus and peas, topped with homemade vinaigrette and shaved Italian Piave. Quick and easy. Quinoa is cooked like rice but cooks much quicker, I find. So while the quinoa is cooking, chop up a quarter of an avocado and a few asparagus. Combine these in a bowl with your English peas which will add a nice crunch to the dish. Add in the mâché, a delicate French green that is slightly sweet with a nice green vegetal herbaceousness. Once the quinoa is finished, combine with your greens in the salad bowl. Next up combine some EVOO, basil olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Maille Dijon mustard, a drop of soy sauce and a tiny bit of sherry vinegar. Mix the dressing into the salad and then top with a nice amount of shaved Piave. I think that larger shavings of cheese as opposed to smaller grated pieces will dial the salad up a notch -- adding a rustic, barnyardy, nutty, butterscotchy cheesy component to your green quinoa salad. A meal prepared in less than thirty minutes giving one the opportunity to relax and unwind without too much time in the kitchen.

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