February 03, 2011

Roasted Beet with Organic Quinoa and Chard

first-feb1 large beet
1 cup quinoa
2 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 bunch Swiss Chard, leaves and stalks separated and chopped fine
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

  1. Roasting the beet is as simple as it sounds! Wrap the beet in foil...place it in an oven-safe bowl
    and roast it in a 400 degree F oven, for about an hour. Leave it in the foil to cool enough to handle (about 15 – 30 minutes). Then chop into approximately ¼” cubes. Set aside.
  2. Wash the quinoa in cold water a couple times (see note). Set aside. Bring the stock and quinoa to a boil. Salt and pepper may be added at this stage, to suit your taste. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed into the grains; around 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add olive oil, stir and set aside.
  3. In a hot skillet, add the vegetable oil and sauté the chopped onions until they turn a pale golden colour. Season with salt and pepper to suit your taste. Add the chopped stalks of the Swiss chard and sauté for another 2 minutes. Make sure the skillet is still hot, then add the chopped Swiss chard leaves. Work quickly as you continue sautéing for another 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, stir and remove from heat.
  4. Serve the cooked chard over quinoa...and enjoy this tasty and healthy treat!
  • Quinoa has a bitter tasting coating called ‘saponin’ which makes it unappealing to taste. Most of the grains available in stores nowadays have been processed to remove this coating. However...you never know! It therefore, does not hurt to wash the grains at least a couple times in cold water to ensure you don’t end up with unpalatable quinoa!!

Suggested wines:

sec-febD’Arenberg “The Custodian” Grenache 2006, McLaren Vale, Australia
Delightful medium bodied wine rich in red cherries, raspberries and blackberries. Can’t miss the presence of cinnamon and clove spices! Finishes with soft chocolate and tobacco notes. Spot-on acidity to balance all the berry fruitiness. Relatively low tannins make it an easy drinking wine, though it may not support gamey meals. Perfect with pastas, root vegetables like beets and soft cheeses.
Available at most BC Liquor Stores for $21.99 (SKU#603845)
Also available at private liquor stores.

3-febD’Arenberg “The Footbolt” Shiraz 2007, Mc Laren Vale, Australia
This is good McLaren Vale  Shiraz representation! Blueberries, strawberries, crushed pepper, rich chocolate, nutmeg and smooth coffee notes wrapped in McLaren Vale’s signature hint of leather. Well balanced acidity structured well by firm yet ripe tannins and lush fruit on the palate make this wine a delight right through.  Go ahead and enjoy this dark beauty now as well as feel free to stash it away for another 3 -5 years...it is still showing promise to improve a little more. Available at BC Liquor Stores for $23.99 (SKU#506931), and at private liquor stores.

4-febD’Arenberg “The Twenty Eight Road” Mouvèdre 2004, McLaren Vale, Australia
...not for the faint hearted! This ain’t no weak wine. Unmistaken sun ripened tomatoes on the nose laced in delicate violet notes carrying a palate of plums, blackberries and what the Aussies love to call mulberry, followed by strong pepper, cloves, espresso and liquorice. Its tannins are chewy and strong enough to grow hair on your chest if not decanted! This Mouvèdre means real business with its medium plus acidity, making it a great companion of earthy and gamey meals.
Available at Liberty Wines for $41.99 (hurry though...the 2004 vintage is running out!)

gicondasDomaine La Haute Marone “Le Coeurs du Mistral” 2005, Gigondas AC, France
True Southern Rhône expression. Medium bodied wine delivering spicy notes of pepper, cinnamon, mace and cloves. For its fruit profile, this wine delivers mainly strawberries and raspberries, but there’s no denying the presence of blackberries and plums to show its dark side. Herbal notes of fennel on the nose along with a hint of violets. Medium plus acidity balanced with medium plus ripe tannins. Good length with a cherry tomato note on the finish.  Excellent food wine to go with braised or roasted meats.
Available at BC Liquor Stores for $32.00 (SKU#796730)

5-febThe Holy Trinity, GSM 2003, Barossa, Australia
Wow!! Think of each varietal; Grenache, Syrah and Mouvèdre...you’ll find it tell tales of each one! Excellent concentration of plum, strawberries, cherries, rich dark chocolate, mulled spices, hints of sage, leather, tobacco...oh my gosh! It keeps going! Strong chewy tannins hold the concentrated flavours that match the nose carrying it all the way through its long finish. The medium plus acidity makes this wine simply delicious on its own as well as with food! I’m thinking Prime Rib and Yorkshire pudding!!
‘G’reat, ‘S’tylish, ‘M’outh-watering wine!
Available at BC Liquor Stores for $39.99 (SKU#19166)

6-febTablas Creek “Espirit de Beaucastel” 2003, Paso Robles, California, USA  
One word...(well, sort of)...”Fan-friggin-tastic!”
Elegance, balance, structure, finesse, concentration...it has it all! Besides Grenache, Syrah and Mouvèdre, this wine also has 7% Counoise (pronounced “coon-wahz”), which is also a Rhône varietal.
Blackberries and raspberries make its fruit component along with stewed blueberries and fig. Let’s bring in the spice tray now with crushed black and green pepper, nutmeg, anise, cloves, cinnamon and dried bay leaf. Throw in rich chocolate and espresso along with fine grained leather to match its tight but refined tannins. Fantastic balance of fruit concentration and acidity reveals layers of complexity through its long luxurious finish.
This is one-well-made-wine! And oh yes, go ahead enjoy one now, but be sure to cellar away at least a few more! Call your friends...see if they want to split a case!
Available at fine wine stores in the Lower Mainland or by the case at
BC Liquor Stores for $42.00 a bottle (SKU#62455)

“Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.”

 - Benjamin Franklin