Change is inevitable. It is one of the hardest parts of life for many reasons, and it’s often the emotional toll of change that is to blame. It often signals a “starting over” process that we may or may not want to begin. Change is not my friend. It is the thing I love to dodge, but change moves faster than me, and this time, I’ve been hit by the ball. This site will somehow undergo a change of its own as what has often been regarded as a Duo will morph into a new form. Work and family life has shifted for Amir in various ways, and as many bloggers know, those things completely affect other facets of life. As he moves into a different level of his life, I’ve attempted to envision how this site would carry on without another person at the wheel. Change…an unfortunate, but necessary part of life.
There’s a lot to be done on this road, but it will come together at some point. The one thing I’ve learned in the last few years is that I can only stress about so many things at one time, and this is low on my list. This blog is all about sharing food, and as long as that happens, the rest is fluff. It’s a process y’all! I have no definite answers, but I do have a recipe. A recipe for the salad pictured above. One of the consistent parts of the past few months has been cooking and food, so of course, I’ve continued to cook. An old coworker invited myself and a few friends to dinner. She’s a hilarious Parisian woman named Alexandra who introduced us to her love for a rosé party several years ago. When the weather warms and the flowers bud, chilled bottles of rosé are perfect for late spring and summer. It had been a while since we convened over food and soft pink wine, and so we did just that.
Alex’s menu included buttery lobster and edamame stacks with steamed asparagus and crusty baguette, so I brought along a salad to add to our plates. The quinoa cooked in a simmering broth flavored with lemongrass and fresh ginger, then tossed with baby lettuces and radicchio. A hearty sprinkling of sweet red grapefruit and silky avocado, along with chewy dates and crisped pepitas, completed the combination. The dressing is a blend of fresh Ruby Red grapefruit juice and bright wine wine vinegar with raw shallots, garlic, scallions and cilantro and olive oil to bring it all together. The key to eating more salad is looking for new ways to make them stand out. You’ll definitely want a second helping of this one, and that is definitely a welcome change.
- ⅓ cup fresh grapefruit juice
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
- 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 scallions, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup grapeseed oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 small lemongrass stalks, halved
- 1" nub fresh ginger, peeled
- ½ cup dried dates, sliced
- ⅓ cup toasted pepitas
- 6 cups mixed baby lettuces
- 1 small head radicchio, halved, cored and cut into 1" pieces
- 2 medium Ruby Red grapefruits, segmented and halved, juice reserved
- 2 large avocados, cut into 1" chunks
- For the dressing, place the grapefruit juice, vinegar, shallot, garlic, honey, scallions and cilantro in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour the olive oil and grapeseed oil into a measuring cup, then slowly stream into the food processor. Season the dressing with salt. Set aside.
- Prepare the quinoa, by bringing the broth to a boil. Add the salt, quinoa, lemongrass stalks and ginger. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until the quinoa is fluffy and the liquid has absorbed, approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool completely.*
- Once the quinoa is cool, scrape the grains into a large bowl, and stir in the dates and pepitas. Use your hands to incorporate the baby lettuces and radicchio, then fold in the grapefruit and avocado.
- Pour ⅓-1/2 of the dressing over the salad, and lightly toss. Serve the remaining vinaigrette on the side.