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I bought a box of quinoa a few weeks ago and it’s been sitting in my pantry.  I’ve never cooked or eaten quinoa and I still haven’t learned how to pronounce it.  But I found this recipe from the Mayo Clinic, built up some courage, and adapted it for the ingredients that I had in my kitchen.  It wasn’t a difficult dish to make but I haven’t made up my mind about how I feel about quinoa.  It has some subtle nutty flavors with a slightly crunchy texture but it’s still a little weird and different.  Let’s just say that it doesn’t thrill me.  I would suggest adding whatever veggies to the risotto that you would enjoy – I did roasted red pepper and arugula.  I’m sure any kind of mushroom would also be delicious.

Quinoa Risotto with Roasted Red Peppers & Arugula

Adapted from the Mayo Clinic

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 onion, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed

  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth

  • 2 cups chopped, stemmed arugula
  • ½ cup of roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Sea Salt & Freshly Ground pepper to taste

1.  In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and quinoa and cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Don’t let the garlic brown.

2.  Add the stock ½ cup at a time until absorbed by the quinoa and then continue to add the stock ½ cup at a time until all the stock has been added.  Cook at medium heat until the quinoa is almost tender to the bite but slightly hard in the center, and once all the stock has been added, about 12 minutes. The mixture will be brothy. Stir in the arugula and roasted red peppers and simmer until the quinoa grains have turned from white to translucent, about 2 minutes longer.

3.  Stir in the cheese and season with the salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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