The ultimate comfort food has to be Rice Pudding – warm, sweet, and fragrant with orange blossom water. However, in the last few weeks, I have been obsessing about this variation made with Quinoa. I’ve had it many different ways, for breakfast, for lunch and dinner, even as a snack in between. My husband is perplexed about this obsession, “Are you gonna eat THAT pudding again??” he said. “There could be worse things to be addicted to” I say.
It’s a versatile, nutritious pudding that can be served hot, warm, or cold. I like it a little soft and my favorite topping is (well, you probably could guess) something nutty and crunchy. So far, almond slices and pistachios have been my favorite. I also had it with a variety of fruit toppings like macerated strawberries an blueberries and caramelized apples. The other day I found these sweet delicious Abate Fetel pears and I thought they would make a fantastic topping for my pudding. I lightly caramelized some small diced pieces and poured it over the cooled pudding. It was creamy and gooey, the pears had a little bite and the caramel sauce was so buttery and smooth. Sophie really enjoyed her share. Zayn had them in a smoothie!
1/2 cup Quinoa, broken or whole
3 cups whole milk
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tbsp orange blossom water
Pulse the Quinoa in a food processor a few times to break up the grain. It’s a personal preference, you can use the whole grain. Measure one half cup, add it to a pot with the milk. Place over medium to high heat until bubbles begin to form. At this point, lower heat to medium to low. Stay close for the first 10 minutes, as the mixture tends to boil over fast. Stir occasionally. Let gently boil for 20 minutes until it thickens. You can keep longer if you prefer a thicker, firmer pudding (add 5 more minutes). Turn off heat, add agave nectar and orange blossom water and mix in to blend. Pour in serving containers and let cool to room temperature. Top with preferred nuts or fruits.
1 cup pears, cut in small dice
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp muscavado sugar (or brown sugar)
1 tsp Crème to Noyeau (optional)
In a skillet, melt butter. Add sugar and mix well. Add pears and crème to noyeau and sauté gently for a couple of minutes until sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and pour over pudding. Serve immediately. This topping is great with ice cream or panna cotta.