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Quinoa Pilaf

gluten free
wheat free
2 spoon difficulty rating

20-30 minutes

Serves: 4

Quinoa Pilaf

Not only is quinoa high in protein, it is also a good source of iron – higher than spinach or other green leafy vegetables. All in all, it is a fantastically versatile wholegrain. Our recipe is a great basic – try adding mushrooms (fresh or dried porcini); garlic or mangetout – in fact, just about any vegetables you like that will cook in the time. Experiment with other fresh herbs too – parsley, coriander, marjoram and chervil all work well. For a more Central American flavour, omit the oregano and use the cumin. It also lends itself well to many of our sauce recipes.

NB You can also dry-roast the quinoa first to bring out its nutty flavour – it takes just 2-3 minutes in a frying pan, stirring constantly to prevent burning. However, the stock will help to add more flavour if you don’t have time to do this!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 180g/6 oz quinoa, rinsed thoroughly through a fine sieve )
  • 450ml/16floz strong vegetable stock (home-made or using 2½ tsp Marigold bouillon in the red tub)
  • 100g/3oz of baby broad beans OR peas (frozen work well)
  • 1 tbsp chopped oregano OR 1 heaped tsp cumin powder
  • 1 medium carrot, grated on the big holes
  • Salt and black pepper to taste (but remember the stock will be quite salty)
  • Optional: substitute some of the stock with a tablespoon or two of dry white wine or sherry. The alcohol burns off so you won’t feel its effect, but it does taste good!

Method: 

1. Dry roast quinoa first if you want. Stir constantly in a large, preferably non-stick frying pan for 2-3 minutes, making sure the grains don’t catch and burn. Remove from pan and set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in the frying pan. Add onion and cook until soft – 3-5 minutes.

3. Add garlic and cook for a minute or two, making sure it doesn’t burn. Add the quinoa, stock, (with wine if using), peas or broad beans and oregano/cumin. 

4. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed – if too wet, remove lid and boil fast until it has reduced.

5.  A minute or two before the end, add the grated carrot and cook in.  Season, then serve.

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