Thursday, April 3, 2014

Basic Quinoa Pilaf

basic quinoa pilaf

What Bon Appetit did for rice last year, America's Test Kitchen has now done for quinoa. This recipe is fantastically good.

Plain quinoa has always seemed rather boring to me. And I never really loved the texture after the traditional cooking method, basically cooking it almost like you would rice in a lot of water. It's easy to overcook so it comes out mushy, and it's pretty bland so you have to add a lot of other ingredients to build flavor.


This recipe, which appeared recently on CNN Eatocracy, is relatively simple and amazing good. The quinoa is first dry-toasted, which gives it a wonderful nutty flavor. Then it's cooked in just slightly more water than quinoa (the Bon Appetit rice method that I love similarly uses less water--interesting) and finished with fresh herbs and lemon juice. Butter and sautéed onion add their flavor magic too.

Basic Quinoa Pilaf
Adapted from Quinoa Pilaf with Herbs and Lemon, by America's Test Kitchen for CNN Eatocracy

Serves 2

3/4 cups quinoa, rinsed (it's okay if it's still a little damp from rinsing; it will dry out quickly in the hot pan)
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 sweet onion, chopped fine
Large pinch of salt
7/8 cup of water (i.e. not quite a cup)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and toast, stirring frequently, until the quinoa is fragrant and makes a popping sound almost continuously, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer quinoa to a bowl.

2. Turn down the heat under the empty saucepan to medium-low. Add the butter; when melted, add the onion and salt and cook until the onion is softened and starting to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes.

3. Turn heat back up to medium-high, add the water and toasted quinoa and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the seeds are just tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow pan to sit covered for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff quinoa and stir in the lemon juice and chopped parsley.

20 comments:

  1. This was pretty good! Congrats on enlivening a quinoa dish.

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  2. That is delicious looks like very nice one pot meal..

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    1. Thanks. Like this, I think of it as more of a side, but if you added other vegetables, I bet it would make a great centerpiece dish.

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  3. Wow it's fantastic. I think with this recipe I won't mess up everything like I always did.. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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    1. Glad you like it. I love simple recipes that get basic ingredients right like this.

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  4. This is my kind of dinner! Love sausage and pepper anything. I have to keep my eye out for dellalo near me, not sure I've seen it. I keep hearing their whole wheat pasta is great.

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  5. That great my friend ! I will try it

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  6. I just tried this yummy recipe from your blog and it has come out really yummy!! :)
    This is my first Basic Quinoa Pilaf and I am quite happy with the outcome...
    Thanks for sharing this easy recipe :)

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think toasting the quinoa makes a big difference. I toast it now in almost every recipe I use it in.

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  7. I love your recipes, the pictures to go along with the step by step instructions are great. You’ve made it so easy that people actually think that I can cook now haha. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you so much! That's very nice. I'm glad you're enjoying my recipes.

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  8. Wow it's fantastic. I love your recipes. My kids will love it so much. I will try the best. Now I can change my menu regularly for my family, esp. for my kids. Thank you :)

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  9. Oh wow! So delicious. I love this recipe so much. Maybe I'll try it at home tonight. Thank you for the post!

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  10. I'm wondering what is the taste of quinoa like? Hope that I can try any recipes cooked with quinoa someday. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Give it a try. Quinoa by itself is fairly bland and a bit earthy. Toasting it, like you do in this recipe, give it a bit of nutty flavor, which I think improves it a lot. Quinoa definitely benefits by being mixed with other ingredients, particularly vegetables.

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  11. Another recipe of quinoa, It's look yummy. Although never tried it, but still interested in any articles about this kind of grain. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome. I hope you give it a try! If you make this recipe, please let me know how it turns out.

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  12. This looks so delicious and you make the picture look so great. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

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  13. Great tips, thanks for sharing, love the pilaf recipe !

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