Monday, February 23, 2015

Quinoa with Swiss chard, chickpeas, and preserved lemons

This dish is a perfect vegetarian main course. Simple, earthy and down right tasty. The Swiss chard is sauteed with onions and chickpeas and then finished with the wonderfully tangy preserved lemon bits. Served on a bed of quinoa it needs no other accompaniment.

You can buy preserved lemon at most major grocery stores in the ethnic food section or make your own. For David Lebovitz's recipe to make your own click here.

Quinoa with Swiss chard, chickpeas and preserved lemons

1 bunch Swiss chard, cleaned and chopped
1 15 oz can organic chickpeas, drained
1 cup chopped Spanish onion
1 preserved lemon, seeds removed and finely minced
1 tablespoon garlic flavored olive oil or 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (freshly ground is the best)
About 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup water
1 cup quinoa [I used the tricolor quinoa]
  1. Wash the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer  to get rid of the bitterness. Add the quinoa to sauce pan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 15 minutes. After the quinoa is cooked, leave the saucepan covered for another 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.
  2. In the meantime, heat a large non-stick saute pan with garlic flavored olive oil. If using minced garlic, heat the oil and while the oil is heating, add the garlic to flavor the oil. Add the chopped onion and saute till the onion has softened. 
  3. Add the chopped Swiss chard stems, crushed red pepper, ground cumin, salt and the chickpeas and continue to saute till the chard stems are soft. Finally add the chard leaves and 1/4 cup water and cook till wilted. If the mixture seems dry, add another 1/4 cup water. The dish should have a little sauce to top the quinoa. When done, mix in the minced preserved lemon.
  4. To serve, place the quinoa at the bottom of the serving dish and top with the Swiss chard and chickpea mixture.
Serves 3

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