Monday, October 4, 2010

Quinoa Pilaf with Apples and Pecans

In a recent photo shoot for a quinoa and apple pilaf, Quinoa grew surly. When I requested a different poise, Quinoa screamed, "Do you know who I am? I'm Quinoa. The Incas revered me. Nutritionist say I'm the perfect food because of my nutritional balance. I am often referred to as a Super Grain.I've been around for 6,000 years, and I'll be here long after you're gone. I don't need this! Suck it!"

Quinoa stormed out of the my photo studio, leaving me with no pictures for this post. Despite quinoa's uppity attitude, I still like the flavor and texture of this grain. However, I might be better off working with some local grains, which like most Kansans are humble, good-natured, and unassuming. I could see a few of those grains being a good replacement for Quinoa in this recipe.

The apple flavor of this dish intensified day #2, and it's great cold for breakfast.

Quinoa Pilaf with Apples and Pecans

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained (Rinsing is essential to remove the bitter exterior coating of quinoa)
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • pepper
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the apple, onion, sugar, thyme, and a dash of salt. Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the quinoa, and cook until it is just beginning to turn golden, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the quinoa is tender with a slight crunch, about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the cover from the saucepan and continue to cook the quinoa until the remaining liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, let the pilaf stand for 5 minutes. Gently stir in the the pecans and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

it's hard to be humble when you're perfect in every way,

1 comment:

Jenni said...

I remember my naturopath talking about quinoa years ago, but I think he said it in the same breath as something really heinous sounding, so I never tried it then. Instead it was our friends from California who turned us onto quinoa. Those left coasters may be a little nutty, but they sure know how to make healthy taste good. I'm looking forward to trying this recipe soon.