Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sweetness and Light

A delicately lovely fruit still life for Thursday.

(photo by mikkel vang)

Cuisine: Quinoa Salad with Golden Beets, Kale, Feta and Pistachios

Welcome to Cuisine, a monthly automatism post devoted to the pleasures of the table. The lovely Justine Craig-Walmsley, an Ottawa, Canada-based food writer who is also a gifted food stylist (the photos are by her, too) returns with another deliciously inspiring recipe. Bon appétit!


I love making a big batch of grain-based salad at the beginning of the week, as it's one of the healthiest and easiest workday lunches I know of. Quinoa is one of my preferred whole grains to use for these salads, as it's very nutritious, as well as quick to prepare. This recipe is flexible, so you could definitely use purple beets instead of the golden ones, or goat cheese instead of feta. It would also be nice with pepitas instead of the pistachios. You get the idea!

Quinoa Salad with Golden Beets, Kale, Feta and Pistachios


- 1 1/4 cups quinoa
- 1 large golden beet, or 2 smaller ones
- 1 bunch of lacinato or dinosaur kale, washed, stalks removed, leaves torn into 1" pieces
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 1/2 cup pistachios, without shells
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- sea salt


- Simmer quinoa with 1 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt, until all water has been absorbed. Allow to sit off the heat, covered, for five minutes, then fluff with a fork and leave to cool.

- While the quinoa is cooking, trim and quarter your beet, then steam until tender.

- Remove beets from steamer, then steam kale until bright green, about 2 minutes.

- Once beets are cool enough to handle, remove skin, and cut beet into 1/2" cubes.

- In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, a good pinch of salt, and the garlic. Whisk to combine.

- In a large bowl, combine quinoa, beets, kale and vinaigrette, and toss with a fork to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning, if required.

- To serve, garnish with the crumbled feta and pistachios. 


This week's links. Enjoy.

Best Flea Market Find Ever
Via Art in America: Sometimes you buy a necklace for $15 and it's a work by Alexander Calder, with a value estimated at $200,000 to $300,000. Amazing but true.

Shelf Life
Take a tour of a sleek modern Paris apartment that cleverly solves an advertising art director's conundrum — where to store his massive comics collection. Via Dwell.

Elmore Leonard — A Life in Pictures
The Guardian has put together an interesting slide show of book jackets and film stills for writer Elmore Leonard, who passed away this week at the age of 87. So many great stories (and films from his stories, too). 

The Anti-Tourist Travel Rules
Great article on the Travel + Leisure site on how to avoid just being a tourist and have a richer and more personal experience when traveling.

Abandoned Houses in Iceland
Heartbreakingly lovely ongoing photo project of abandoned houses in Iceland by R3 Radgjöf, Gláma-Kim architects and Stapi. The landscape is just stunning. Via the fox is black.

The Writing Tools of 20 Famous Authors
Interesting piece about the often idiosyncratic methods authors use to commit their stories to paper. Bonus — a recipe for the ink Jane Austen used, which includes beer!

A Beach Library
This is a fun idea — French industrial designer Matali Crasset created a mobile library for the beach of Romaniquette, for the town of Istres. It's open until September.

Greek Farro and Chickpea Salad with Herbed Yogurt
We're in the middle of a late summer heatwave here, so this hearty salad is perfect eating for the unexpectedly sultry weather. Via Cookie and Kate.

(photo by pieter estersohn via architectural digest)


I'm smitten with the elegantly retro Scritarello Desk, designed in 1996 by Achille Castiglioni. Inspired by the Italian Rationalist school of the 1930s and 1940s, this is a desk that's meant for old school writing — letters, poems, a journal or for drawing and painting, too. Love. Available from Suite NY.
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