American

Quinoa Bowl With Jammy Eggs & Pickled Shiso

November 25, 2020
5 Stars
Photo by Melina Hammer
Author Notes

A warming pot of grains or beans makes for often needed set-it-and-forget-it mode, allowing me to focus on the day’s numerous other tasks. For that reason, as well as the fact that they’re hearty and healthy, grain and legume bowls are solid go-tos at the cottage. In this version I’ve used quinoa, but you could just as readily use brown rice or barley, or choose lentils or chickpeas.

The icing on the cake in this dish is my favorite quick food, the jammy, custardy egg. Adaptable to so many uses, the egg, cooked in its shell, remains a tidy package until peeled and cut, and then becomes silken glory. I often have a batch of these sitting in a container in the fridge, ready to provide immediate healthy fats, protein, and energy when I’m short on time.

Landing on the pickled shiso recipe and adding it to the above creates “special occasion” food out of nowhere, with just a little advance planning to allow the marinade time to meld. It makes something drool-worthy out of what could have been just lunch! Use whatever veggies you have on hand, though the wilted spinach here does add a lovely earthy element, and the radishes impart a cheery crunch to balance to the rest of the dish. —Melina Hammer

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 2
Ingredients
  • Quinoa bowl
  • 1 cup white, red, or tricolor quinoa
  • 1 cup mushroom or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 bunch spinach, washed well, ends trimmed, leaves torn if large
  • 2 radishes, scrubbed and stems trimmed
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 piece pickled shiso (recipe below), for garnish
  • 1 pinch freshly cracked black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 pinch flaky sea salt, plus more to taste
  • Pickled shiso
  • 1 1/2 cups red shiso leaves, mixture of small and medium
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese shoyu or tamari
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated on a Microplane
  • 2 thin scallions, white and light green parts only, minced
  • 1 red jalapeño, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Quinoa bowl
  2. Place quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold running water for a few seconds. Tap sieve into a saucepan, thwacking quinoa into it.
  3. Add 3/4 cup water, the stock, and 1 tablespoon olive oil, and bring mixture to a boil. Lower heat to simmer, place the lid on, and cook until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove quinoa from heat, leaving the lid on. You will have extra for another use.
  4. In a small saucepan, add enough water to cover eggs by 1/2-inch (do not add the eggs yet). Bring water to a boil then carefully lower in refrigerator-cold eggs. Bring water back to a rapid boil for 30 seconds to set the whites, then lower to simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer cooked eggs to an ice bath until they are cool to the touch, then peel and set aside. This step, short of peeling the eggs, can be done up to three days in advance.
  5. Drizzle remaining olive oil in a large cast iron skillet set over medium heat. When the pan is hot, oil will shimmer. Swirl to coat, add spinach, and season with salt. Allow to cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. While the spinach cooks, slice the radishes very thinly with a knife or using a mandoline.
  7. Use tongs to turn spinach, moving any leaves which have already wilted out of the way of those that haven't. Stir occasionally until all leaves have collapsed and become bright green. Remove pan from heat.
  8. Divide half or so of the quinoa between shallow bowls. Nestle in spinach, followed by an egg cut in half, onto each pile. Arrange radishes and sprinkle parsley on top. Lift pickled shiso leaves using the tines of a fork and add some, along with a little of the marinade, to frame the eggs and quinoa. Once you taste the dish you’ll strike a balance for how much is ideal: forkfuls punctuated by the bright, punchy flavors. Season with flake salt and cracked pepper to taste and eat at once.
  1. Pickled shiso
  2. Whisk together all pickling ingredients except for the shiso in a small bowl until syrup dissolves and mixture is uniform.
  3. In a wide mouth half-pint jar, make a single layer of leaves laid flat, followed by a spoonful of the marinade, spread to coat the surface. Repeat like so layering leaves, followed by a spoonful of the punchy sauce - using the labor as meditation - until all leaves are stacked inside the jar. Pour any remaining marinade on top, lightly press the surface to compress, and seal the jar. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before using.
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When she's not writing, cooking, styling, and shooting her forthcoming cookbook - out Spring 2022 with Ten Speed Press - Melina makes food look its best for the New York Times, Eating Well, Edible, and other folks who are passionate about real food. She grows heirloom+native plants and forages wild foods at her Hudson Valley getaway, Catbird Cottage. There, Melina prepares curated menus to guests seeking community, amidst the robust flavors of the seasons.

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