February 14, 2013

BLT Quinoa Risotto

Hovering thousands of feet above the mountains somewhere in between my home in Baltimore and my parents home in Austin. That is my current location. Somewhere in between. I've never been my best in between. I'd much rather be here or there, starting or ending. You know that feeling in the pit of your tummy moments before speaking in front of a large crowd or kissing someone for the first time? Something really great is about to happen it just hasn't happened yet. 

Yes. I'd much rather be on the ground, feet planted firmly on the warm Austin pavement. I can't wait to eat my fair share of soft homemade tortillas, hike, run, explore, and cook with my father. I'm looking forward to being there instead of here, up in the clouds, thousands of feet above these beautiful cascading mountains. 

While I hover in a happy state of vacation anticipation, let's talk quinoa.  I'm always surprised to learn not everyone has discovered this wonderful little protein packed grain yet. It is a staple in our home because it cooks quickly, tastes nutty, and is great with just about anything. BLT quinoa risotto, a fun take on two classic dishes, will whisk you just outside of your comfort zone. Crispy bacon, wilted greens and fresh bursts of tomato enliven this creamy risotto-style quinoa.

Put this in your mouth. It will thank you.

P.S - Happy Valentine's Day! xxxx

BLT Quinoa Risotto
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 6 slices organic bacon
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups quinoa, dry
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cups organic low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional but really adds depth of flavor)
  • 4 cups baby collard greens (or any hearty green like spinach or baby kale) 
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast ( or freshly grated Parmesan for dairy lovers) 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

  1. In a large heavy pot on medium heat, render bacon until crispy; about 5 minutes. Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel. 
  2. In about 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings cook diced onions, thyme, and garlic until translucent; about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add quinoa, stirring to gently toast the grains; about 2 minutes. Add wine, pinch of salt and pepper, and stir until it is reduced; about two minutes. 
  4. Add 1 cup of stock at a tie, stirring and allowing each cup of water to absorb in to the quinoa before adding another cup. Repeat until quinoa is tender remembering to stir often for a creamy texture. 
  5. Remove thyme sprigs and discard. 
  6. When adding the last cup of broth, stir in greens and heat through; about 3 minutes. 
  7. Turn down heat to low. Stir in dijon, nutritional yeast ( or parmesan), cherry tomatoes and reserved crumbled bacon; stir until combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. 


  1. Homemade limoncello, BLT risotto... I really am going to come crash your house.

  2. Looks so good-) Well done, this recipe is a winner!

  3. You've just blown my mind. Wow!

    My husband is allergic to quinoa (can you believe it?) ... I wonder, would this work with, say, farro? Or some other grain? (I know quinoa is a seed ... I can't think of many other things like that. Maybe I just need to try some of the non-standard varieties of quinoa with him?)

  4. Nothing wrong with this combo for sure!! Love all those tomatoes.. and the bacon! Hope you had a wonderful Valentine's Day. :)Hope your feet are planted firmly on the ground now. :)

  5. Mmm this looks and sounds sooo delicious! Love the photography as well, thanks for sharing :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  6. I am in a state of delightful anticipation. This is on my menu in the coming week. Enjoy your vacation and those homemade tortillas!

  7. I adore every single thing about this dish!! And eat lots of food in Austin for me! : )

  8. I love Austin--it's been way too long since I've been there. Have a great trip! This risotto looks divine--creamy and so flavorful.

  9. I love risotto! I love this creative risotto. The crispy bacon on top is a nice touch! :)


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