Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Quinoa with Spicy Lemon and Pine Nuts

After the gluttonous eating extravaganza of Restaurant Week, I have been craving lighter, fresh meals cooked at home. I had some red quinoa on hand so I decided to make a simple, couscous style salad. Don't let the healthiness of quinoa fool you... this is a tasty, refreshing dish!

I used red quinoa in this recipe, which I prefer to white quinoa mostly because of the texture. I find white quinoa to be more mushy and sticky than the red kind. I also prefer the nuttiness of the red quinoa.

Quinoa with spicy lemon and pine nuts
(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

1/2 cup red quinoa, dry
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp good olive oil
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (use less if you prefer a lower spice level)
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
zest from half of a lemon
sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Rinse the red quinoa three times in cold water using a fine mesh seive. Transfer to medium saucepan. Add 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer on low heat. Cook until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy (but not mushy). Remove from stove and uncover. Let cool for a few minutes.

Combine quinoa with cumin, cayenne pepper, pine nuts, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Toss. Serve at room temperature.

I enjoyed this for lunch, but it would make a nice side dish or light meal for dinner.

Serves 1.

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