Thursday, August 5, 2010

Italian Quinoa

1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained
1 3/4 cups water
3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp. kosher salt, dried oregano, dried basil, & garlic powder
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes & ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese (optional garnish)

Combine the water and quinoa in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover with a lid, reduce to low heat, and cook covered until all liquid is absorbed (For me, at high altitude, about 17 to 19 minutes is perfect. If you are at a lower altitude, your quinoa may take a few minutes less).

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil with the salt, pepper, herbs, and spices. Stir to combine and heat in microwave for about 15 seconds.

When quinoa is done cooking, fluff with a fork; drizzle olive oil mixture over quinoa and stir well to combine. Garnish with Parmesan cheese if desired. Serve immediately. Fresh Italian flat leaf parsley would be a great addition.

This is my very first quinoa recipe and how I got my husband to eat quinoa. My son is still not a fan of quinoa. I use the same oil-herb mixture outlined above and toss it with hot, cooked pasta (such as orzo or small bowties), top with lots of Parmesan cheese, and my son does love that.

In our house, whether we make this dish with quinoa or pasta, we call this recipe "Ollie Oul" (rhymes with "ghoul").  I used to order a recipe called "Aglio e Oleo" (garlic & olive oil) at a local Italian Restaurant... a simple pasta dish with., as the name suggests, is made with garlic & olive oil... and sometimes crushed red pepper flakes.  It's one of those items you order off of a menu and you totally stumble over correct pronunciation and end up pointing to the item on the menu so you can ensure the waiter or waitress understands you because you want to make sure you get what you really mean to order.  However you spell or pronounce it, it's tasty comfort food in my book.


The other night, we had  French's Crunchy Oven Fried Chicken with Italian Quinoa and Caesar Salad for dinner.  It was a nice meal but quick and easy enough to whip together on a week night. 

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