Today is an exciting day for me. My new book Weeknight Gluten Free is finally available at Williams-Sonoma stores. When my childhood celiac disease resurfaced, I was determined to eat as well as I always had. I continued to focus on healthful, fresh, farmers’ market inspired food as I learned to cook without wheat, barley, and rye. This book features my favorite recipes developed during a year of glorious experimenting in my kitchen, and I’m so happy to be able to share them with you.
Rather than offering disappointing versions of dishes that require wheat, I focus on food that is naturally gluten free. I didn’t get depressed about giving up crusty bread and semolina pasta, but instead came to truly appreciate the beauty of polenta, quinoa, and corn tortillas. The book highlights creative uses for gluten-free staples such as quinoa pilafs, creamy weeknight polenta, herbed egg crepes, socca (savory chickpea pancakes), legumes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. I also created a crusty skillet cornbread that takes only minutes to prepare and competes with artisan breads for satisfaction.
You’ll find recipes for food to eat every night of the week, including meatless entrees, sustainable seafood, poultry, and meat. There are dishes like braised Moroccan flavored chickpeas and carrots with yogurt topping; crisp socca with burrata, greens, and olive dressing; polenta topped with fried eggs, kale, and blistered tomatoes; fish tacos with broccoli slaw and lime crema; turkey cutlets with green olives and lemon on quinoa; and quick Vietnamese beef and noodle soup.
I include lots of flavorful sauces, and dishes that are easy to transport to parties. And, lists of many of my favorite products that help to make gluten-free cooking easy and satisfying, including really terrific pastas (I am particularly thankful for these).
You can take a sneak peek on Amazon. The book won’t be shipped from Amazon or Barnes & Noble until the middle of April, but you can find it now at Williams-Sonoma stores. I will announce book signings, and hope I will see you at one of them.
In the meantime, here is a sample recipe that is perfect for this weekend.
Sautéed Scallops with Orange-Avocado-Basil Salsa on Basil Quinoa
- 1 cup quinoa, preferably multi-color
- Coarse kosher salt
- 2 oranges, peel and pith cut off
- 1 large firm but ripe avocado, peeled and pitted, then finely diced
- 3 tablespoons plus ¼ cup minced fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1½ teaspoon minced seeded red jalapeno
- Freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 10-12 oz sea scallops, patted dry
- Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan. Rinse with cold water, drain. Repeat rinsing 3 more times, and then drain the quinoa and return to the pan. Add 1½ cups water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Meanwhile, cut the oranges in half, slice ⅓-inch thick and then cut into ⅓-inch cubes. Place in a medium bowl. Gently mix in the avocado, 3 tablespoons basil, shallot and jalapeno. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper, add to the pan and sauté until almost springy to the touch, about 2 minutes on each side.
- Fluff the quinoa with a fork, and then mix in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and ¼ cup basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the quinoa on 2 warmed plates. Top with the salsa and then the scallops and serve.
- Tip: This salsa is also good with shrimp or any fish as well as chicken breasts or turkey cutlets.
Photos by Kate Sears