Monday, January 11, 2010

Check Out Quinoa: Quinoa with Sun-Dried Tomatoes

We had a great weekend hosting our cousins who were in town for a post-holiday visit. These newlyweds were unable to make it for Christmas, as the snowy roads weren’t safe for them to drive here. But they had a whirlwind weekend trying to stop by and visit with every family member who was available. We were lucky enough to have them overnight, which meant we went out for a great Creole dinner on Saturday (followed by some live Irish music at a nearby pub), and had a homemade brunch on Sunday morning.

My sister and her family joined us for brunch and I made one of our cousins’ favorites, and my mom provided some pumpkin bread for us to serve them. While the men tinkered outside with an unfortunate flat tire, the women sipped mimosas inside and looked after the kids. (My nephew is always entertained at his “Auntie” and “Unc”’s house with our one and only "toy", the “Big Red Ball”.)

Prior to our guests arriving on Saturday, I spent the day stocking up on the necessary groceries. While in the checkout line at Trader Joe’s (home of ever-friendly employees), my cashier commented on the quinoa I was buying like it was being discontinued in bulk. She mentioned that she liked quinoa but didn’t know what to do with it. I started rattling off several recipe ideas, and as her eyes widened, I tore off some paper from my grocery list, and scribbled down the URL for my blog. This is one of the recipes I mentioned to her, and while I made it a week ago, in the event that she is joining us here online looking for ways to use her quinoa, I must deliver!

I love tomatoes (in any form) and quinoa. I recently did a search for some ideas of how to incorporate sun-dried tomatoes, and found a recipe which I then slightly adapted. This is delicious, and also has a spicy kick! (You could avoid the spice by substituting the Jalapeño with a green bell pepper, and omitting the cayenne.)

Quinoa with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
(Adapted from Lisa's Kitchen)
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 large Jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 cup of corn
½ teaspoon of ground cumin
½ teaspoon of ground coriander
½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon of kosher salt
¼ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. When hot, add the shallots and garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and Jalapeño to the pot, and stir cook for 4-5 minutes.

Add spices, corn, quinoa, and vegetable sock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.

Add parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano, stir, and serve.

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