I’ve never made quinoa, and am always impressed when people do. Plus, I keep hearing that it’s so good for you. Anyway, I looked it up, and the Joy of Cooking tells me that it’s one of the best sources of plant protein, and that I should always rinse before cooking it until the water runs clear, which I didn’t do because the holes in my colander are too big. Whoops.
Anyway, I looked up a bunch of quinoa recipes on the food network, but ended up changing one of them fairly dramatically. It called for half couscous and half quinoa, which seemed unnecessary so I just used the quinoa, and for frozen peas. Sadly, the grocery store near me is basically a fallback to World War II. They are always out of sugar and have no produce and were not surprisingly out of peas so I substituted asparagus and I think it was fine. I also ended up using twice as much liquid than was called for, and maybe three times the garlic, because it seemed like the thing to do.
I really do wish that the quinoa photographed better, but it didn’t.
Mushroom and Asparagus Quinoa Risotto:
• 3 cups of quinoa
• 6 cups of vegetable stock
• olive oil
• 1 lb of mushrooms
• 1 cup of asparagus, cut into one inch pieces
• 5 cloves of garlic
• ½ cup chopped parsley
• parmesan cheese
Sauté mushrooms in oil, add garlic then asparagus. Remove from heat and add in the parsley. Put the veggies aside. Heat olive oil in a pot and add quinoa, coating and toasting the grains for 1-2 minutes. I thought this was unnecessary, but the Joy says that this brings out the best flavour. Add the stock one cup at a time, until it’s absorbed, which generally takes between 5 and 10 minutes. Keep adding stock until it reaches the consistency you want, which may not take 6 cups of stock. Like Arborio risotto, you do have to keep stirring it all the time. Add grated parmesan and stir.
Also, 3 cups of quinoa is a lot. It looks like I will be eating this for at least two meals a day for the next week. Maybe reducing the recipe by half is a good idea if you’re interested in diversity in your meals. I also add the parmesan into each bowl individually, rather than into the whole pot at once.