Here is the fourth of my recipes to run in the six-part series on quick-cooking whole grains running in The Washington Post.
The recipe features one of my favorite grains–quinoa, the tiny, quick-cooking seed from the Andes. Although most package directions instruct you to steam quinoa in double the volume of water, I prefer to cook quinoa like pasta, in ample water. This technique not only results in fluffy quinoa but also makes it possible to cook other ingredients, such as broccoli, in the same pot.
I find beige or tan quinoa more flavorful than the red variety. Sometimes I add a bit of red quinoa to the pot to lend extra color to a quinoa dish. I like Bob’s Red Mill brand, which is grown in an organic cooperative in Ecuador that I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago.
Because quinoa is a complete protein (it contains all the essential amino acids), this vegetarian dish is hearty enough to stand on its own, perhaps accompanied by some crusty whole-grain bread and cheese.
- • 1 1/2 cups quinoa (no need to rinse)
- • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli
- • 1 to 2 medium lemons
- • 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- • 5 tablespoons olive oil (may use the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes)
- • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa and cook uncovered for 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the broccoli stalks into 3/4-inch pieces and cut the broccoli tops into small florets. Add to the pot; reduce the heat to medium-high and return to a boil. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the quinoa has no opaque dot of uncooked starch in the center.
While the broccoli is cooking, squeeze enough juice from the lemon(s) to yield 1/4 cup. Coarsely chop the sun-dried tomatoes and place in a large bowl.
Drain the quinoa and broccoli well. Transfer to the bowl and stir until the steam subsides. Add the lemon juice, oil and salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.