I was reading up on the qualities of spinach in The Full Plate Diet, when I learned that the term "a la Florentine" came from Catherine de Medici's love for spinach. This may not mean much to most people, but it hit a cool note with me as my brother- and sister-in-law met at an old Medici Villa, that has been turned into a college, where they both worked.
And that inspired me to use the leftover quinoa and braised spinach to make an Italian version. Sadly, I was in a hurry as we only had an hour before an appointment at some friends' house, and I forgot the tomatoes. Plus, I would have loved to add pine nuts, but we're out. Paul saw nothing much connecting the dish to Italian dining except for the parmesan cheese topping. That was a mistake on my part. However, I stand by my original idea and claim with the additions it would have been a better presentation. Either way, I thought it tasted just yummy.
Below is the recipe as I would have made it with more time and more supplies.
Quinoa a la Florentine
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup onion, sliced
- 1 pound fresh spinach, rinsed
- 1/8 cup Parmesan Cheese, finely shredded
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, chopped and toasted
- 2 Campari Tomatoes, quartered
Sautee onions until soft in 1 teaspoon olive oil then add garlic to cook briefly. (Don't let the garlic brown.) Add the broth and allow to heat up. Add spinach and cook until just wilted. Serve spinach over quinoa topped with pine nuts and parmesan. Garnish on four sides with tomatoes.