The first time I had quinoa (KEEN-wah), it was at a relaxing lunch with Mark at Rhubarb, in Asheville, North Carolina. It was served over wilted spinach and I was immediately hooked. My version is subtly dressed, allowing it to top various greens or to serve as a simple side.
My nephew, Nicholas, married a delightful woman named Patri, who was raised in the Canary Islands. With her she brought this wonderful recipe from her mother, and I feel quite privileged that she took the time to show me how to make it, step by step.
I know, I know… who wants to eat beets? At least, that is what I always thought growing up. Then again, my only experience with them was through a can opener.
Our friend Cynthia Aziz shared this Lebanese “street food” recipe, which originated from her great aunt. It has a wonderful undertone from the subtle addition of spices, including mahlab (mah-lab), which is actually ground cherry pits. Mahlab can be found in Mediterranean markets.