Quinoa Pilaf With Carrots and Tomato
Easy, Hearty and Healthy
- Servings: 4.
Quinoa is a super foods. It is a seed-like grain and a complex carbohydrate, but it is also very high in protein. Its flavor is mild and slightly nutty and its grains cook quickly with water or stock to become a soft, satisfying companion to cooked vegetables or cubes of chicken or leftover meats. And it is gluten-free.
In this recipe, quinoa is cooked with chicken broth and finely minced shallots. Vegetables that have been separately cooked are added at the end; this method lets the vegetables retain their color, shape and flavor and keeps the quinoa grains soft and fluffy.
Quinoa should be rinsed in cool water several times before cooking to remove any surface dust that can add a bitter taste. Measure the amount of quinoa you'll need for your recipe and place it in a large bowl. Rinse with cool running water and drain in a fine-meshed sieve and repeat this 4 or 5 times. Shake off any excess water before adding to your recipe.
Quinoa is available at most supermarkets and is often sold in bulk at organic and health food markets.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup finely minced shallot or yellow onion
- 1 cup quinoa that has been rinsed in cool water, at least 5 times, and completely drained
- 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots, cooked in microwave or boiling water until tender
- 1 medium to large fresh tomato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 1/2 cup chicken stock (boxed or homemade)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 or 4 minutes.
- Add the quinoa and stir to coat. The quinoa may still be wet from being rinsed so keep the heat medium-high and stir until all the moisture has cooked off. Continue to stir until the grains are dry and are given the chance to toast. They're ready when the grains sound scratchy as you stir them, the shallots are translucent and soft, and a nutty fragrance is coming from the pan.
- Add the chicken stock and stir. Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce heat to low and cover.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes until the stock is completely absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the carrot slices that have been separately cooked either in boiling water or in the microwave.
- Add the tomato. Stir to combine the vegetables with the quinoa grains.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper and serve.
You can cook the quinoa in advance and reheat it later when you add the carrots and tomato.