Monday, November 7, 2011

long day's journey

Deborah runs her own mini marathon...
My poor little kitchen has been getting a real workout these days. Not quite the same kind of workout as the NYC Marathon runners this past Sunday, but somehow it feels like it.  I ran my own little endurance race on Sunday when I realized that the post-marathon party I was catering on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, situated right in the thick of the marathon route, could not be reached by car because of street closures. All the food, a buffet dinner for 50 people, would have to get there by city subway. This meant careful packing and serious lifting and carrying. I was not alone in this undertaking. One of the other cooks contributing to this party was coming from Brooklyn with a shopping cart brimming over with her food and she is five months pregnant.

NYC presents all kinds of logistic challenges to its denizens. We city dwellers are accustomed by necessity to carrying heavy bags of EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE. This may explain why so many NYC women have shapely arms and slim legs. There is a plus side to everything!

This Sunday's post-marathon party was a collaborative effort by several cooks from Wellness in the Schools to thank and honor the sponsors of our amazing marathon team who raised a very impressive amount of money for this worthy non-profit. Our culinary theme was seasonal, of course, and it had to be hearty to fill the bellies of those inspirational runners.
 This is the cake!!! Unbelievable! No way, I did not bake it.

 In addition to the spinach salad the buffet showcased the best of the season with a sprouted lentil salad, a sweet potato salad and tortellini in a porcini mushroom sauce.

My recipe for spinach salad with quinoa and walnuts is so easy to prepare. It is a light, but filling dish that could be served as a first course or as a light lunch.
The last spinach harvest will be in the farmers market about now. The salad is enlivened by a squeeze of lemon juice and the olive oil gives the walnuts a toasty warmth.
Spinach Salad with Walnuts and Quinoa
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts
16 oz baby spinach
1 cup cooked quinoa (prepare according to package directions)
juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a small sauce pan and add the walnuts. Cook on a low heat for 5-10 minutes until the walnuts begin to turn a golden color and you can smell the nutty flavor. Arrange the spinach leaves in a serving bowl and toss with the cooked quinoa. Squeeze the lemon juice and salt and pepper over the spinach and toss to combine. Pour the warm oil and walnuts over the salad, quickly toss again and serve immediately.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. Spammers have forced me to now review every comment before publishing. So please bear with me as I read through your comment. Thank you for visiting the blog!