Pasta and Grains / Quinoa / Vegetables / Vegetarian / Writing

Italian Quinoa With Fresh Garden Herbs


Italian Quinoa With Fresh Garden Herbs

Quinoa pronounced keen waa.

Keen Waaahat?

Italian Quinoa behaves like an oxymoron.

A seed often called a super-grain— this is one seed with a mistaken identity.

A seed—that looks like a grain, cooks like a grain, tastes like a grain, gluten free and full of fiber and rich in protein? The World Health Organization has rated “the quality of protein in quinoa at least equivalent to that in milk.”

Native to the Andes, quinoa sustained the ancient Incas, and has been cultivated continuously for more than 5,000 years. Now imported from South America or the mountains of Colorado. Mediterranean?  Don’t even ask.

A delicious nutritious changeling adopted into the family of Super-Foods Italian Style.

And now is the time to make it, while the tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs are abundant in your garden, your family-friend-neighbor’s garden and the Farmer’s Market.

Mediterranean Quinoa With Fresh Garden Herbs

2 cups water or vegetable broth

1 cup quinoa

1 ½ cups grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

1 medium red onion finely chopped

½ large cucumber, washed, cored and diced

1 cup pitted Kalamata olives

Core the Cucumber

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup fresh parsley coarse chop

½ cup fresh basil coarse chop

¼ cup fresh oregano coarse chop

3 cloves garlic chopped fine or pressed

1 lemon, juice and zest

1 teaspoon salt

ground fresh black pepper

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly in fresh water until it runs clear; to remove any powdery residue of bitter tasting chemical compound called saponin.  Toast the rinsed quinoa in a dry skillet for five minutes before cooking to give it a delicious roasted flavor. To cook, use two parts liquid to one part quinoa. Combine the liquid and toasted quinoa in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the grains are translucent, about 15 minutes.

Mash garlic and Macerate

Meanwhile mash the garlic, salt and freshly ground pepper in the extra-virgin olive oil into a paste and macerate in a large bowl.

Add Cucumbers,Tomato, Onion with Oil Garlic

Add tomatoes, onions, cucumber.

Add Fresh Herbs

Add parsley, basil, oregano, pitted Kalamata olives. Add cooked quinoa, sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and zest.

Toss again.

Let sit covered at room temperature until ready to serve. This salad can sit out the whole party…

Italian Quinoa Mediterranean Style

But who would want to do that?

Not this changeling of the grain family!

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13 thoughts on “Italian Quinoa With Fresh Garden Herbs

  1. What great pictures, I just love this one it’s a great side salad instead of pasta salad. I had a party with a Quinoa salad and many of my friends had not had it and loved it. It’s always fun to try new dishes that are so good for you and pretty thanks!

    • Color!!! Color is so important in food,Tami. Thanks. First the aroma of cooking starts your appetite, the beauty of the the food on the plate, the delicious taste, and great fuel for your beautiful body! Feeding your senses.

    • Can’t wait for your recipes… did you see last week’s blog on MUNI, he lives part time outside of Saltzburg and I used the photo of your Austrian Punch, (not the one where you’re swigging the champagne,) to toast him! Miss you, but know what you are doing is sooooo important!

  2. I did see that! I’m glad you used the picture! I’ll have a new punch we can try when I get back as well! And some Knudel as well! Yummmmm! miss you! see you in 2 months!

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