Sunday, September 26, 2010

We made quinoa gratin with spinach and sweet potato

I saw this recipe a couple years ago in The New York Times. Except it didn't have sweet potatoes--just a simple quinoa, spinach, gruyere casserole that would make a good side dish. And then last week, Joey and Lauren were coming over for dinner on a gross, rainy day, and I wanted to make something warm and comforting. I thought of this recipe, and decided to add sweet potatoes in order to make it more of a main dish. It worked beautifully! In fact, I think it's a format you can use to make a lot of different quinoa-based casseroles. Quinoa+cheese+vegetable+some kind of spice or herb or something else to flavor it. Like, can you imagine this baby with BUTTERNUT SQUASH? and KALE or CHARD instead of spinach? And maybe some GOAT CHEESE?? Or what about EGGPLANT and some MOZZERELLA?!?!? The possibilities are endless.

Quinoa Gratin with Spinach and Sweet Potatoes (adapted from Baked Quinoa with Spinach and Cheese)


1 6-ounce bag baby spinach

A few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 or 5 sweet potatoes, skinned and sliced into medallions or half medallions, depending on the size

1 medium onion, chopped

2 plump garlic cloves, minced

4 cups cooked quinoa, (1 cup uncooked)

2 large eggs

3 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (3/4 cup)

1 teaspoons nutmeg

1 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)


1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish.

2. Heat the oil in a medium frying pan or a wide saucepan over medium heat. Sautee the sweet potatoes slowly until tender enough that you can easily break the pieces with a wooden spoon. Remove from the pan and set aside.

3. Heat a little more olive oil ithe pan, and add the onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir with the onion until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach and season with salt and pepper. Cook just until wilted. Remove from the heat.

4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in the quinoa, the onion and spinach mixture, the sweet potatoes the Gruyère, and the nutmeg. Add freshly ground pepper and stir the mixture together. Scrape into the gratin dish. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top and drizzle on the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Place in the oven and bake until nicely browned on top, about 25 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to sit for about 5 minutes, and serve.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

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