Thursday, October 2, 2014

Holiday Quinoa

I had this recipe all ready to go for a holiday newsletter, but got a message they were doing gift suggestions, so I decided to post it here. 

I found a stack of old recipe and this was among them:

I remember making it one Thanksgiving, hence the title "Holiday Quinoa," but it's a mistake to think it's  just for the holidays.  This is a great recipe.  While we usually have it as a main dish, you can also use it as a side dish and it would be a great addition to any holiday brunch.

Celery is in season in the fall and local versions are much tastier than the kind your find in grocery stores.

Shiitake mushrooms add umami, or a savory tone.

Carrots contribute add sweetness and peppers offer a spicy zing.

You can use any variety of quinoa.  Tri-color is an interesting alternative and if you want quinoa on the cheap, use half millet/half quinoa because millet is less than half the price of quinoa.

Garlic should be an essential in every savory dish this season since it has so many health benefits.  The same goes for walnuts.

I love Northwest grown walnuts and always order a box from my favorite farmers to get through the winter.

Toast walnuts in the oven (350F for 8 minutes) or in a frying pan over medium heat (about 5 minutes).

For us, this dish can be a meal in a bowl. It isn't hard to add to this quinoa pilaf.  Just pick your seasonal vegetables.  I often dice onions and save them in the freezer for an easy meal.  I save red peppers this way, too.  That way I have plenty of cut vegetables ready to go for easy soups.

I leave the shiitake whole for this dish since I buy shiitake at the market and they are smaller than in stores.

My Cooking Assistant can't quite reach the carrots

Holiday Quinoa
(Serves 8)

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, tough stems removed
1 onion, small dice
1 tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 carrot, small dice
3 to 4 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 1 1/2 teaspoon chopped Mama Lil's Peppers 
2 1/4 cups water or stock
2 to 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries or tart cherries
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Sea salt to taste
1/2 cup toasted roughly chopped walnuts

1. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat. Toast quinoa until golden brown.  Remove from heat and skillet.  

2. Place shiitake mushrooms in skillet over medium heat.  Stir and cook until mushrooms soften.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Add onion, celery, carrot and oil to the skillet.  Stir and cook over medium heat until vegetables soften.  Add a little water, if necessary to keep from sticking to the pan.

3. Place garlic, sage, thyme, marjoram, pepper flakes and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
When water boils, add quinoa. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until grain absorbs all liquid. Let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

4. Mix quinoa and vegetables, adding orange juice, tart cherries and parsley.  Season to taste with salt.
Adjust seasonings--orange juice, salt, and peppers--until the flavor is perfect.  Garnish with walnuts.

1 comment:

Miz Helen said...

Your Holiday Quinoa looks fabulous!
Hope you are having a fantastic week and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen