It’s much easier to cook quinoa than pronounce it.
Once you give this super-grain a shot, you’ll be outraged couscous ever seduced you.
What’s so snazzy about quinoa? Here’s the jazz from a post last January with a recipe for black garlic quinoa, and another for smoked paprika and cumin quinoa. Below, I’m including the recipe for Beginner’s Quinoa from the video above, to help get you started.
1 cup quinoa
1 & 1/2 cups stock or well-seasoned water
8–12 juicy baby tomatoes, halved
flesh of 1 avocado, roughly chopped
1 mild chilli, de-seeded and sliced
handful of rocket, chives, cress or coriander, roughly torn
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
sea salt flakes and a few twists of the black pepper mill
Wash the quinoa very, very well in a sieve under running water. Some grains have a pesky bitter coating.
Transfer to a heavy-based saucepan. Bring to the boil with the stock or well-seasoned water and cook for 12–15 minutes with a lid on. The longer you cook it, the softer and stickier it becomes. If you prefer it this way, add a little extra time and water.
Take the pan off the heat as soon as the quinoa has drunk up all the water. Let it sit on the countertop and fluff up in the residual heat of the lidded saucepan.
Leave the quinoa to cool a little before stirring through the remaining ingredients. Adding olive oil too early often makes it soggy. Give the black pepper mill a few twists and add a smattering of sea salt flakes.
You could pack the quinoa into an empty container for lunch at the office. I use the cardboard ones from my local deli’s salad counter. They seem far snazzier than my manky old Tupperware.
Some rice cookers have a special ‘grain’ setting that works perfectly for quinoa. Mine is the Tefal 8-in-1 rice cooker. I measure 2 Tefal cups of quinoa, and fill the basin to level 2. Press grain setting. Perfectly fluffy quinoa in 45 minutes.