Zest makes everything better
Although taste is the driving factor, zest will supply you with some serious health benefits too. Lemon peel has many healing properties, including a natural metabolism boosting effect. It contains pectin which prevents your body from absorbing sugar, thereby reducing your chances of weight gain. Other active nutrients in lemon peel include vitamin C, limonene and salvestrol Q40. These nutrients will help improve your digestion, cholesterol, bone health and amp up your cancer prevention, specifically reducing your chances of breast and colon cancer.
As for flavor
The fusion of lemon zest and sundried tomato, balanced with the bitter bite of spinach and creamy Emmi Emmentaler cheese makes for an utterly delectable combination! Make a big bowl of this delicious grain to eat throughout the week, or pack it into little patties and fry them up for a more indulgent treat.
Pair with my 10 Minute Leg of Lamb for a Mediterranean inspired dish that is sure leave you licking your lips. Tired of quinoa? Switch it up and try this recipe with risotto or millet!
Before you get cooking
To reconstitute the sundried tomatoes, place in a jar and cover with olive oil. Tighten the lid and place in a dark cupboard–to prevent the oil from going rancid. Soak roughly 1-2 days before use.
At the same time ferment your quinoa. Place dry quinoa in a large bowl and cover with water, about 1 inch above grains. Add a tablespoon of vinegar. Stir. Cover. Soak overnight, or at least 6 hours at room temperature, around 70 F or warmer. The next day you’ll find foam floating on top. Pour these impurities off. Rinse the quinoa in a mesh strainer. If you’re not ready to cook, soak the quinoa for a second day with fresh water and vinegar, or just drain and store in the fridge.
If you’re new to cooking with zest check to see if you have a fine grating option on your existing hand held grater. If not, and you choose to invest in a microplane, try this ProChef wide grater. I prefer this to the more common long, skinny design.
I held out a long time before investing in one of these
If you haven’t already, I also recommend you invest in a food processor. The Cuisineart standard blade is perfect for 1/4 inch leeks. I even used it to quickly get through chopping the sundried tomatoes and grating the cheese. I cannot recommend it enough! If you’re considering it go for the 11 cup. It sounds like a lot, but I’ve found that for most of my recipes the 7 cup has not been large enough to work with ease.
If you’re feeling adventurous
Try making small patties out of the mixture. I did not have great success with this aspect of the original recipe, but it’s a fun experiment and there’s not much risk involved with making a couple patties and giving it a go. Although my patties didn’t stick together very well, the crispy outside layers were pretty convincing. If you like a crispy outside as much as I do, consider making them as you go through the course of the week.
Or just eat this delicious quinoa as is!