Oh quinoa. Where do I start with you? I love the way your taste, the way you smell, how good you are for me. 🙂 Quinoa can take a little work and can be messy sometimes because it’s such a tiny grain. But I promise it will be worth your time.
Lemon Quinoa Pilaf
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed (see note below)
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1 tablespoon EVOO (Extra-Virgin Olive Oil)
- 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Rinse the quinoa. (Saponin needs to be removed.)
- Toast the quinoa: Using a large saute pan, heat the wet quinoa (from rinsing) on medium low (1 cup at a time if making more than recipe calls for). Using a wire whisk, move the quinoa around. Once is gets hot, the water will absorb and the quinoa will start popping. This means it is drying out. keep swishing it around with the whisk until the grains start to brown. It will begin to smell nutty – this is desired.
- Combine broth and all quinoa in the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and grain is tender.
- Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a large dry skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown and fragrant – about 2 minutes – stirring frequently. Remove nuts from pan and set aside. Heat the oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and red pepper and cook stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and being to brown – about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 additional minute.
- When the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and transfer to a large serving bowl. Stir in the pine nuts, onions, lemon juice/zest and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.