Quinoa & Arugula Bowl with Yoghurt Dressing

IMG_3708 And I’m back…. It’s the beginning of the CSA season and as usual the first couple of months the boxes are light and filled with a multitude of varying greens. This past week, I received arugula. I usually prepare my arugula in a salad with a drizzle of amazing pear balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. I decided this time, and mainly due to the fact that I was having guests for dinner to use my arugula more for a main meal.

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Introducing, the Quinoa & Arugula Bowl with a Yoghurt dressing inspired from the California Barley Bowl, which alludes to the feel and taste of this bowl. Well…. if feels and tastes very clean and pure. It’s the sort of thing you can do most of the prep ahead of time – cook the quinoa, tossed with arugula (or sprouts), toasted sliced almonds, avocado, a bit of feta – all dolloped with a simple lemon zest yogurt sauce.

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This bowl was a hit with my guests. First it fed as a side dish eight people and the yoghurt dressing was such a welcoming surprise to cool us down from the blistering heat we’ve been experiencing lately. There was a morsel of leftovers and my cousin Talia ate it for breakfast. It has such a healthy organic west coast feel that I totally get why it can be suitable for breakfast. Mind you… Talia happens to be from California, so this was probably nostalgic for her.

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California Barley Bowl

Serves 6
Ingredients

2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups arugula
¼ cup feta cheese
¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch red pepper flakes (*optional- I like a little spice)
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

 Yoghurt Sauce

1 cup plain yogurt
¼ cup finely chopped chives
¼ cup finely chopped dill
Zest of one lemon
Juice of one lemon
¼ teaspoon black pepper

 Directions:
  1. In a large bowl, toss together cooked quinoa, arugula, feta cheese, almonds, salt, and red pepper flakes.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon zest, juice, green herbs and black pepper. Top the quinoa bowl with the yogurt sauce, place sliced avocados around the salad and serve.

Baked Eggs with Arugula, Yoghurt & Chili

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I have been inconsistent in posting recipes. Sorry for that. My hands have been very full lately. My father is quite ill and has been and out of the hospital regularly, which has been very disorienting for the entire family. He’s at home now and quite a trooper. Never complains and just deals with his life.
My cookbook Silk Road Vegetarian is underway and my publisher has sent me the galley to review several times. Luckily they are always asking for my input, and want my artistic sensibility and the essence of who I am am to shine through the book. They haven’t listened to everything I suggested, however the book is definitely forming into a beautiful coffee table cookbook.
Then there is the other book I am writing, on the intersection of Rosh Chodesh (head of the Jewish month) and challah. It’s a monthly curriculum on how to incorporate the Jewish theme of the month into the shape of the challah.
Amidst all of this is my dutiful CSA which always comes in on Wednesday to deliver the freshest produce that has been picked the same day. This week I got some arugula and decided to try the very famous Ottolenghis’ recipe, Baked Eggs with Arugula. I really savour the peppery kick arugula has near the end of a bite – the taste is nigh on mustardy. That spicy bite so characteristic of arugula has always inspired me to dress it with some yoghurt.  It makes for a quick and effortless meal, where the yoghurt and za’atar really make the dish.
If you don’t want to bake this, you can always cook this on the stove and just cover it with the lid. From the much-loved Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty’ cookbook.
serves 2
Ingredients 
4 large eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch Arugula
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
Drizzle of extra Virgin Olive oil
Za’atar, for seasoning
salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.

2. Place the arugala and olive oil in a large pan and sprinkle over a little salt. Sauté on a medium heat for a few minutes, until the arugula wilts and most of the liquid has evaporated.

3. Transfer to a small baking dish (or leave in the pan, if ovenproof) and make four deep indentations in the cooked arugula. Carefully break an egg into each hollow then place in the preheated oven to cook for 10-15 minutes, or until whites are set.

4. While the eggs are baking make your garlic yoghurt. Stir the garlic through the yoghurt and season generously with salt. Set aside.

5. When your eggs are ready to your liking, take them out of the oven. Spoon on a large dollop of garlicky yoghurt and pour over a drizzle of olive oil with za’atar. Serve immediately.