Author Notes: A little inspiration goes a long way.. I'm still fresh from the awesome cooking demo that Amanda & Merrill did at Sur la table last week. Came back home, tried to replicate the recipe using spinach, but it just wasn't as awesome, but on the other hand, I had fallen head over heel in love with the texture & mouth feel of quinoa! (Until then, for the most part, I'd been grinding up the quinoa into a batter!)
There is no interesting story to tell here...this was an experimental dish keeping with this weeks theme, that the family completely fell in love with and will be a regular at my table. Beluga lentils pair perfectly with the quinoa because of their tiny size. I'd substitute with French Puy lentils if beluga lentils aren't available.
- 1/2 cup organic white Quinoa
- 1/2 cup Beluga lentils
- 1 cup Walnuts, toasted
- ~20-22 Sage leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
- 1-1 1/2 tablespoon orange zest
- 1-2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- In a large saucepan, combine the water & salt & bring to a boil. Add the beluga lentils, cover & cook for 5 minutes. Add the Quinoa and lower the heat to medium. cover & allow to cook till all the water is absorbed (~ 15 minutes). once cooked, fluff the lentil quinoa mix with a fork.
- Combine 1/2 a cup of toasted walnuts and about 15 torn sage leaves & coarsely mince in a food processor till they resemble coarse bread crumbs (albeit with a tantalizing aroma)
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter in a small skillet and add the minced walnut/sage mixture. Saute till the bits of sage begin to wilt.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining walnuts (broken into small bits), Lemon juice & orange zest. Add the feta cheese, quinoa/lentil mix, the sauteed walnut/sage blend and fold to combine all the ingredients. Drizzle with the EVOO, taste and adjust for seasonings as per your preference.
- Heat the remaining butter and add the remaining sage to it, sautee till the leaves crisp up and add the mix to the lentil quinoa pilaf as a garnish.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Walnuts & Sage