I'm always looking out for a good idea to use quinoa, as much for its delicately sweet and delightful nutty flavor as for the exceptional nutritional properties that this ancient South American staple provides, including a nearly perfect amino acid balance as well as a good source of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, phosphorus and vitamins B and E. So I was intrigued to see the unusual combination of flavors in the lemon braised celery root with Parmesan quinoa from Lucullian Delights, especially as Ilva had prefaced the recipe with a story of how cold it was at her home in northern Italy. If it could warm her up there, it ought naturally to be just as wonderful and comforting in the middle of a Canadian winter as well, I figured, and it also sounded like the perfect accompaniment to the northern Italian-inspired romano bean and vegetable soup I had been planning.
Celery root, or celeriac, is something I've rarely cooked with, which is a shame given its distinctive flavor, somewhere between turnip and celery. Although not widely used here in North America, it's usually available at larger markets throughout the fall and winter, and happens to be an excellent source of potassium in addition to being a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, iron, and vitamins B6 and C. Once peeled, it discolors quickly, so it is best to prepare it right before cooking or, if not, sprinkle it with lemon juice. As Ilva describes, it goes wonderfully with rosemary and lemon. I haven't done much much differently here than she did, with the exceptions of sautéing the celery root before braising it with the lemon juice, to give it it a little crispness on the outside, and using dried rosemary instead of fresh, given the relative difficulty of finding fresh rosemary in Canada at this time of year.
|Parmesan Quinoa on Sautéed and Lemon-Braised Celery Root|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Adapted from Lucullian Delights
Published on February 15, 2008
Wholesome and nutritious Parmesan quinoa served over a bed of sautéed and lemon-braised celery root