Quinoa - that amazing grain I was telling you about last week - well, here it is again! This is a lighter, not-like-risotto version and quick and easy to throw together. The reality is that a lot of the time I serve quinoa plain with just a bit of salt and pepper - and it's great just like that. But, I wanted to play around a bit more here. Feel free to mix up the ingredients - add any kind of tomato, fresh chopped basil, maybe some chopped onion. I used pimento-stuffed green olives - but any olive would do nicely here. Kalamata, marinated in chili and spices - yum! Squeeze some lemon over everything, drizzle some oil on top, add salt and pepper - and you're all set.
The amounts I have specified below are approximate - add more or less as you please. It's very much a mix and match dish and I was using quinoa I already had cooked and making this for my lunch - so I just used an appropriate amount to fill up the bowl I was using.
- 1 cup (250 ml) quinoa, uncooked
- 2 cups (500 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil, approximately
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 6 to 8 cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup (250 ml) cucumber, chopped
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) olives, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Put quinoa into saucepan or rice cooker and add water to cover. Soak for 5 to 10 minutes. You may omit this step if short on time.
Drain and rinse the quinoa using a strainer/colander, stirring with your fingers as you run the water over the quinoa.
Add the water and quinoa to the rice cooker or saucepan on the stovetop to cook. If using the saucepan, cover, bring the water to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer until the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes).
While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the other ingredients - chop the tomatoes, cucumber, Italian flat-leaf parsley, and olives.
When the quinoa is cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat on the stovetop, or transfer the quinoa from the rice cooker to a bowl, fluff with a fork (if it's a bit sticky you may need to break it up a bit) and let cool.
When cooled, add the olives, tomatoes, cucumber, and Italian flat-leaf parsley.
Add olive oil, squeeze the lemon juice on top (or squeeze into a bowl first and remove seeds).
Add one or two grinds of pepper and salt. Mix thoroughly. Taste and add more oil, lemon or seasoning to suit your taste.