Monday, January 23, 2012

Quinoa with Pine Nuts & Sautéed Shallots

Quinoa is a healthy, grain-like superfood.  It is a complete protein, which is pretty cool, since it is a plant.  It's also full of vitamins, minerals, and our good friend fiber.  :)  Quinoa is really, really good for you.  The ancient Incas grew it, and to them it was a sacred grain; they called it "Mother of all grains".  You pronounce it "keen-wa" (thanks, Bob's Red Mill package!)  And, I can even buy it locally!
Quinoa is gaining both recognition and popularity these days.  It's even trendy.  But I was first introduced to this super grain about ten years ago, when my husband cooked it for me.  He makes a delicious sweet quinoa dish with cinnamon-sauteed apples, brown sugar, and quinoa.  It's great for breakfast.  He used to work at a natural foods store and learned about quinoa there.  After being introduced to it, I tried to cook it myself a few times, but I was never really pleased with the result.  For me, quinoa needs to be cooked in something flavorful, because by itself, I just don't love it.  When I saw this recipe recently, I had a "duh" moment; she uses chicken broth instead of just water.  (You could use veggie broth to vegan-ize this). 

I loved this dish- I used a good-quality chicken broth; it really matters here.  I also used shallots instead of boring ol' onions, and I let some of them get a bit crusty and brown while sautéeing.  They were almost the best part!  :)  Actually, my husband and I loved the shallots so much that we ate them all, so for the leftovers, I had to sautée some more.  We had this last week and I'm already wanting to make it again, sometime soon.

Note:  This recipe calls for Quinoa to be rinsed before cooking.  This is to remove a bitter substance naturally found on quinoa.  However, certain brands come ready-to-cook with no rinsing required.  The brand I used, Bob's Red Mill Organic Quinoa, does not need to be rinsed.  Check your package.
Quinoa with Pine Nuts & Sautéed Shallots
adapted from Ellie Krieger of the Food Network

2 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed (if package states to)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-4 shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, optional
Salt and pepper

1.  In a medium sized saucepan, bring the broth to a boil.  Add the quinoa and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and grain is tender.

2.  Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a small dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown and fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. (Do not walk away from these!)  Remove nuts from pan and set aside. Heat the oil in the same skillet over a medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and begin to brown, about 6 minutes.  (Shallots may crisp up instead of softening- either way is delicious). 

3.  When the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large serving bowl. Stir in the pine nuts, onions, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and serve.
**This post and photos are property of **


LadyJayPee said...

Funny, I'm on a quinoa kick too. I made quinoa patties for the last two nights. This sounds good. I munna put it on my list to try! Thanks, Dishy.

Cookin'mama said...

This looks really good! Will hubby share his recipe? His breakfast quinoa sounds fabulous!

What A Dish! said...

Thanks ladies! Lady, I am wanting to try quinoa patties- they sound delicious. Cookin', I plan to have hubby make his breakfast quinoa soon so I can post it! :)

Katie Richmond said...

So, our family had quinoa for the first time tonight with (almost) universal approval. I'm going to have to try this recipe, since we just had it plain with butter, salt and pepper. I would LOVE to get the breakfast quinoa recipe, too. :)

What a Dish! said...

Great! My kids will hardly even try it, stinkers. I should just make it plain next time too, like rice. I will have to nudge him to make the breakfast one soon!