07 January 2008

Recipe: Quinoa Pilaf with Caramelized Onions and Toasted Pecans

I had a request for this recipe, recently, so here it is, reproduced from Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen. I don't remember anymore what, if anything, I changed from that original recipe, so I'm going to assume that I followed it directly (though I definitely cooked only half).

1/4 cup chopped pecans
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
1medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed in a fine strainer under cold running water
3 cups water
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the pecans in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Toast, shaking the pan occasionally to turn the nuts, until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Set aside on a plate.

2. Add the oil to the empty pan, raise the heat to medium-high, and heat briefly. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon and ginger and stir-cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the quinoa and stir-cook until toasted, about 1 minute.

3. Carefully add the water to the pan - it will sputter - and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently until the quinoa is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in the parsley and toasted pecans and adjust the seasonings, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

This makes 3-4 main course servings. I didn't find that the onions caramelize particularly well in this cooking time, so you might need to add a bit more time for that to happen.

The cookbook this recipe is from is one of my favourites - there's such a wealth of information in it, aside from the recipes themselves, which have all (that I've tried...) been delicious. It's a massive book, making it a bit unwieldy for actually using, but every time I flip through it, I find something else I want to make.

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