Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa is supposedly some kind of "super food". I don't know what "super food" means, but a quick glance at trusty Wikipedia mentions that quinoa, unlike other grains, is a really good source of protein. Yay. I had never eaten quinoa before (or if I have I don't recollect) until my friend brought over a delicious quinoa salad a few weeks ago.  I love making dishes with a grain or carb at the base (i.e. pasta, rice, polenta, freekeh, etc.) so that it kinda becomes a one-pot dish as opposed to a separate protein, carb and veggie thing.  Too much work.

So in comes quinoa pilaf, courtesy of Tyler Florence and the Food Network.

  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth) 
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well (huh, totally didn't see that "rinsed well" part before I started cooking)
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (if you don't have this you could use paprika--the turmeric kinda lent a smoky flavor)
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp preserved lemon rind, finely diced (right, whatever. I'm not tracking down a jar of preserved lemons to use one whopping teaspoonful. Instead, I grated about a 1/2 tsp of lemon rind)
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped (I used about 3 plum tomatoes)
  • 1 15-oz can artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered (I used a can of hearts of palm instead, drained and sliced crosswise about 1/4" thick)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced (I used about 1/3 cup, and marinated the onion in red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and water with a pinch each of salt and sugar before draining and mixing in with the salad)
  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives (I used kalamata I think, and chopped them)
  • 1/4 cup dried currants (didn't use these)
  • mint leaves for garnish (didn't use these either, although some parsley would have been nice)
Serves 4. 

First, gather the ingredients for the quinoa.

Place the broth, quinoa, bay leaf, turmeric (or paprika), 1/2 tsp salt, some pepper, and lemon rind into 3-quart saucepan.

Cover and bring to boil.  When it reaches a boil, lower heat and simmer, keeping covered, about 15-20 minutes (all the liquid will be absorbed).  Fluff with fork and admire how funny it looks.

Now for the add-ins.

Drain and slice the hearts of palm crosswise into 1/4" thick coins, and finely chop the tomatoes and olives. For the red onion, I finely diced it and let it sit in a mixture of red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, water, and a little salt and sugar.  What kind of vinegar you use doesn't matter (although white might be a bit too strong). Drain before mixing in with salad.  You don't have to marinate the onions first, by any means. I just did it.

Dump dem suckers all into a bowl and mix around.

The recipe says to garnish with mint leaves, which I skipped, although I think some chopped parsley would be a nice addition to this dish.  You could also use other yummies, like chopped bell peppers.

This recipe was incredibly simply and I felt so damn healthy and proud of myself eating it (right before I had my ice cream sandwich).



  1. I've always wanted to try quinoa, we don't venture far from rice or pasta but I think I could sneak this in on the hubs. ;)

  2. I love quinoa, it's healthy but doesn't taste "healthy" (yes, I made the finger quotes)

  3. I have been obsessed with quinoa this summer and I have some preserved lemon that I need to finish off. Thanks for this.

  4. so vibrant! so colorful! so fresh! so.... fluorescent.

  5. I had quinoa last night and put sun dried tomatoes in. Love it! Thanks for this, I will try it on our next quinoa night :)

  6. I had quinoa for the first time at a work potluck randomly. Since then I've loved it!

  7. Yum to the recipe and ice cream sandwich! :) We cook with quinoa all the time!

  8. i've always had a weird aversion to quinoa, but now i'm wondering if i should try it again