Turkish-inspired Quinoa Pilaf


I’ve been reading about Quinoa (pronouced keen-wah. Don’t you love that? I could say it all day. Keen-wah. Keen-wah. Keen-wah) a lot lately. It’s being promoted as the new super grain;  it boasts high protein, low GI and it’s gluten-free; it’s a good source of  dietary fibre and phosphorus, and it’s high in magnesium and iron.  Plus you can cook it in a rice cooker, in the same grain:liquid proportion as rice. What’s not to love?

The Incas considered Quinoa sacred, but when the Spanish Conquistadors moved in they banned the grain and forced the Incans to grow corn instead. Reminds me of the way corn is taking over the world as the (fattening) food of choice – check out the movie Food Inc if you want to see how corn is becoming all things to all people.

Anyway, after reading all these raves about Quinoa I spotted some at Harris Farm, and I had to buy it to try. Thankfully the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend came to my rescue, and offered this recipe to try. It follows after the jump.

Turkish-inspired Quinoa Pilaf

  • 160g white quinoa
  • 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 small brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds
  • 2 tbsp chopped pistachios
  • 2 tbsp currants, soaked in water
  • 1/2 tsp grounded allspice
  • 1/4 cup parsley, shredded
  • 1/4 cup dill, finely chopped
  • 6 mint leaves, torn
  • handful fresh pomegranate seeds, to serve
  • sea salt (pretentious, much?) and freshly ground black pepper.
  1. Rinse the quinoa under cold running water (murmuring keen-wah, keen-wah to yourself all the while). Washing is really important because the grains have a bitter coating, and can be mildly toxic.
  2. Place into a small saucepan with the stock.
  3. Bring the stock to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa (keen-wah, keeeeeeeeen-wah) is tender and the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Meanwhile, gently cook the onion and garlic in a wide pan with butter until it has softened.
  5. Add thenuts and cook for a few minutes until they are lightly brown.
  6. Stir in the currents and the allspice and set the pan to one side.
  7. When the quinoa is cooked, add it to the nut mixture and fold the fresh herbs through. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
  8. Sprinkle some fresh pomegranate seeds seeds over the top.

Cook’s notes: Apparently this dish is magic with roast chicken.

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~ by swalloworspit on June 6, 2010.

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