As The Grubworm is two years old it feels like it’s time for a bit of a refresh, hence the new look. Expect more small changes over the coming weeks as the blog evolves.
It’s January, traditionally a time of restraint and moderation. And so I thought I’d kick off 2012 with something healthy and tasty. Spinach for the iron and vitamins, and quinoa because it’s damn tasty (and makes a change from cous cous or rice).
Although it’s been banging round the UK for a while, I only discovered quinoa while in Peru. They serve it in soups, with meat, as part of salads. It’s everywhere. My first bite was a bit of a revelation. The taste is somewhere between Puy lentils, bulgar wheat and wild rice. Lightly nutty with a pleasing bite.
It goes brilliantly with the silky softness of spinach, and you could always add a poached egg instead of creme fraiche and maybe some bacon if you felt the need for more salty goodness. Change the spice to your hearts content, this is an everyman sort of dish.
So happy new year, it feels like a year of promise and excitement. There’s the distinct whiff of adventure on the horizon, thoughts of a new home are becoming a reality, and so there’ll be a whole new area to explore. I hope it’s a great year for everyone, equally full of adventure, fun and, of course, fine food.
Spinach, quinoa and creme fraiche with Moroccan spices
Serves four as a side, two as a main
A small onion – finely chopped
1 clove garlic – finely sliced
250-400g spinach – thoroughly washed, and if fully grown, chopped roughly
A small tub of creme fraiche (in the interests of new year health I used half fat)
A small handful of hazelnuts roughly chopped
Half tsp Ras El Hanout
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Olive or rape seed oil
Cook the quinoa in boiling water for about 13 minutes and drain.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a wide pan over a medium heat and add the onion, cooking it until it’s soft.
Add the garlic and hazelnuts and cook for another minute. Stir in the spices and then start adding the spinach one handful at a time. As it wilts add more until you have cooked all the spinach.
Dollop in the creme fraiche, stir through and add the quinoa. Reduce the heat to low, season with some salt and pepper, stir everything together, and cook fro a couple more minutes.
Serve with some more Ras El Hanout and perhaps a little sumac sprinkled on top.