Quinoa with Lemon and Radish Leaves

What a month. Renovating, packing, moving, and disasters here at home, and around the world. Everything has been feeling a bit frenetic and all mixed up. For me, it has been a month of perspective taking: remembering that what’s really important is what I have in front of me: a husband I adore, family, friends, and a way to make a living in a field I believe in. The rest is just details–sometimes I just need to remind myself of that more frequently.

One nice thing we’ve done recently is plant a garden in the little raised bed behind our new house. We started with lettuce, arugula, and radishes, and I look forward to adding more. Because my years being forced to weed my mother’s garden and my casual coming and going from the Dartmouth Organic Farm apparently did little to instill actual gardening skills in me, I planted way too much of all of the seed. Now that the glorious spring has erupted here in Tennessee, the plants are going gangbusters. So, the other day I tried to thin them out (after having done battle with cat shit–we have a huge population of feral cats in the hood. Side note for gardeners: if you put a grid of chicken wire right on top of the dirt, cats won’t use your garden as a litter box, which is a good thing, since their “fertilizer” is actually really dangerous). I was left with a really cute pile of radish greens, which I did not want to compost because a) they looked so fresh and delicious and b) because we literally had no veggies in the fridge. Thus, this simple recipe was born of desperation, deep gratitude for spring, sun, and life, and things that I had in my cabinet.

I recommend adding protein by plopping a poached egg on top. We had ours with a butter bean and beet salad (canned butter beans, leftover roasted beets, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper). The dukkah (read more on this amazing Egyptian spice in the link below) really adds a little pizazz, so I strongly encourage you to make some (or apparently Trader Joe’s carries it too…).

Quinoa with Lemon

Quinoa with Lemon and Radish Leaves

  • 1.5 C. quinoa
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • bunch of radish leaves (or other young green leaves: spinach, chard, etc.), chopped coarsely
  • 3 Tb. olive oil
  • 1/4 C. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • Chopped almonds or a few Tb. of dukkah (promise I’ll post a recipe soon!)

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the quinoa. Combine the lemon juice, zest, and olive oil together. When the quinoa has boiled for 15 minutes, drain well in a fine mesh strainer and toss with the dressing, and plenty of salt and pepper. Toss in the chopped greens, feta, and green onions and serve warm or room temperature, garnished with some nuts or dukkah. Add a poached egg on top for some delicious protein.

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