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Quinoa with Sauteed Spinach, Lemon and Ginger

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Quinoa with Spinach, Lemon and Ginger

Your house, being the place in which you read, can tell us the position books occupy in your life, if they are a defense you set up to keep the outside world at a distance, if they are a dream into which you sink as if into a drug, or bridges you cast toward the outside, toward the world that interests you so much that you want to multiply and extend its dimensions through books. To understand this, the Reader knows that the first thing he has to do is visiting the kitchen.
The kitchen is the part of the house which can tell more about you.
~ Italo Calvino, If on a winter's night a traveler


I walked into a trap. Yesterday I read these words, and, at the peak of my blogging vocation of these (maybe last) days of exile, I decided to borrow them to start a new post.
But then I had the feeling of being on a slippery slope, forced by myself to continue a conversation that doesn't bear comparison. I can't do it. I really prefer to drop them like that, these stolen phrases, silent but bulky, full and thick as snowflakes.
After all, what could be inferred from my kitchen that doesn't exist? It would be a disappointment. Perhaps you, Reader, you may think that my blog is all a bluff (as I keep repeating to anyone who gives me a little confidence...), and that in fact I really prefer spending time arguing with ghosts, piling pieces of wood and listening to the voice of things, especially the rusty and tired ones, rather than sharpening knives and shredding carrots for the soffritto. Because to be honest, I've never liked to prepare soffritto, with all that onion to be sliced amidst meaningless tears, and those vegetables to be cut at perfection, otherwise you'll be forever discredited by the Great Council of Soffritto-Makers.
What could be postulated from my strictly mismatched bowls, by that array of spices without hesitation that manage to make their way depending on the mood of the moment, by raw sugar and the inevitable handful of Manitoba flour, because you never know? I could also add, for those who want to investigate further, that in spite of myself I have a H.U.G.E. oven, a black and deep hole, turkey-proof, extremely disproportionate and embarrassing. Over time I've learned to get along with it and I've put his unsympathetic size to good use by turning it into a cupboard; if you, unfaithful Reader, if you could look into it, you'd see an indistinct stack of dark and broken trays, piled on top of each other with no sense, those unpolished and heavy trays that everything sticks on them and that not even Martha Stewart can use to bake cookies.
I also have a toaster, almost new but fake vintage style; many jars full of jam, usually red and with strawberries, of the simple kind, with pieces but without peppercorns, balsamic vinegar or other gimmicks. A deliciously unbloggable jam.
A tagine that I'd like to use more often, four large glass jars, accessible only by a ladder, full of molds for every form on earth: for Christmas cookies with honey and cinnamon, for Cannelés de Bordeaux and for filled ravioli that will never see the light. Pots hanging from the ceiling, mini cocottes in all the colors of spring, and only one futuristic concession to a shameful array of graters, long, thin and very sharp.
But there is no room for two, in my kitchen. There is not even a chair, let alone a table! There is neither a pantry nor a drawer, and the imperfect order of cookware, silverware, tools and gadgets is based on a very delicate balance, designed with fatigue and protected with pride.
What you could infer, dear Reader with a pitiless look, I can't really say. I thought about it, the whole evening and then an hour this morning with coffee. But my real kitchen is an imaginary space, "a dream into which I sink as if into a drug", a defense to get away from the world, asking the world to come with me.
So here it is, have a good spinachy quinoa you all.

Quinoa, Spinach and Salt

Quinoa with Sauteed Spinach
with Lemon and Ginger

for 4-5 people

Quinoa with Spinach, Lemon and Ginger

quinoa 250 gr
fresh baby spinach two big bunches
garlic 2 cloves
lemon 2
fresh ginger 1 piece
olive oil, salt, soy sauce as needed

Quinoa and Garlic

Gently clean the spinach and remove the bigger stems. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large pan, fry the garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half, for two minutes, then add the cleaned spinach and cook them slightly. Season with lemon zest and grated ginger.
In the meantime, cook the quinoa in salted water, following the directions written on the package. Let it rest for a few minutes.
When ready, add it to the spinach and sauté for a minute, stirring and adding soy sauce or a pinch of salt to taste.
Serve warm.

Big Bowl of Quinoa

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