Friday, November 2, 2007
Have you ever made....Quinoa?
The first time I ever ate quinoa, it was in one of those prepacked box dishes. We didn't like it very much and I didn't really think about eating it again. In the past few years, in the interest of variety and trying to feed my family well, I began thinking again of whole grains. Last winter I bought Lorna Sass's cookbook Whole Grains, Every Day, Every Way and have found it to be a wealth of information. She includes basic cooking instructions for so many grains ( as well as more involved and interesting recipes) and that is where my basic recipe came from.
Even though I have lots of interesting recipes that call for quinoa, I haven't gotten too fancy with it, mainly because I've found it to be a quick weeknight meal addition. One way we've eaten is in place of rice with a stir fry. Basically, you just boil water and add the quinoa to it. Apparently you're supposed to rinse it, which I've never done, but now you know. I use about 1 cup dried for the 3 of us and there is usually a bit left over. I start checking the quinoa for doneness after about 15 minutes, and have found it generally takes 15-20 minutes to cook. You'll see a tiny white ring pull away from the grain and it will be chewy.
The main way we like to eat quinoa and the way we had it last night is as follows.
Cook as directed above, drain and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, a bit of grated Parmesan and toasted pine nuts. I like to use a fork to mix it all together so it doesn't get too clumpy. I think a bit of grated lemon rind would be a nice addition. My almost 6 year old eats this, mainly because she loves pine nuts - I don't dare leave them out.
I thought I'd add a bit of color to this post with this purple broccoli.
It's not local, I found it at Whole Foods and couldn't resist. It has a much more broccoli-ish flavor than the usual grocery store variety. The purple parts turned dark green upon cooking, but left purple water marks on our plates.
I'll be working this weekend (sigh), but since I'm making lasagna tonight for dinner, at least I'll have good meals while I'm there.