Quinoa with Roasted Corn
When it comes to lunch during the workweek, I go through phases. I was on a bagel kick for a while: multigrain with cream cheese or Dijon mustard. After that, it was Whole Foods’ pizzas with fancy combinations like balsamic chicken and caramelized onions. I also had a brief affair with yellowfin tuna sandwiches. And then, there was my CVS phase. To the disgust of my co-workers, I went through a period of consuming sandwiches, wraps and high-sodium subs preserved and packaged in noisy plastic. It was a convenience thing, I told them. And it really was, as CVS is nearly right next door to our building.
But things are different now. No more CVS sandwiches, and fewer pizzas and cream cheese-loaded bagels for me. I’m aiming for healthy, and one of my new lunch favorites is quinoa.
I’ve been cooking quinoa with all sorts of vegetables: broccoli, bell peppers, kale, mushrooms, onions… But the very first quinoa dish I made was with roasted corn, a recipe from the ever-resourceful Mark Bittman. The quinoa and roasted corn combination is slightly sweet and crunchy, great alone, and pairs perfectly with fish or chicken.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups corn kernels (best if freshly shucked; defrost if frozen)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup quinoa (well rinsed and drained)
1 1/2 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
Chopped fresh chives, chervil, parsley, cilantro leaves for garnish
1. Heat oil in a skillet or saucepan with a lid over medium-high heat. When hot, add corn, salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, until corn begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
2. Stir in quinoa. After a few minutes, add stock and bring to a boil.
3. Stir one last time, cover with lid, and reduce heat to low.
4. Cook undisturbed for 15 minutes.
5. Uncover and stir a bit. If the kernels are still hard, make sure there’s enough liquid in the pan and cook for another 5 minutes. Add a little more liquid, if you need to.
6. When ready, season to taste. Garnish with freshly chopped herbs, and serve immediately or room temperature.