I’d like to admit something: I’m terrible at cooking quinoa.
Well, at least I used to be. I would often overcook it, then overcompensate by turning it into quinoa cakes (which, by the way, are amazing and long overdue for us).
But there is so much more to quinoa that I was desperate to explore: salad, stir-fry, and pilafs for starters. It’s a must-know grain for vegetarians and vegans, so naturally I was feeling the pinch. The failure!
The absolute maddening sensation of failure.
Is this getting dramatic?
So a few weeks ago the Mister and I set out to crack the quinoa mystery. It took three tries, and ended in this:
Now, your standard quinoa recipe will treat the grain like it’s friends, rice, and couscous. Mistake NUMERO UNO.
Quinoa, as we came to find out, requires the attention of risotto, and the constant taste-testing of soup.
If you have quinoa down to a science, disregard this recipe – but if the magical properties of quinoa have escaped you up to this point, please try it. Because it’s nutty and crunchy, full of protein, and so good for you it’s offensive.
This won’t be entirely shocking, but my genius approach to cooking quinoa came from my How To Cook Everything Vegetarian cookbook. (I’ve convinced at least two people to buy it, Bittman. And I bought it for my mom for Mother’sDay. How about some recognition?)
- Put 1 cup rinses quinoa in a medium-sized saucepan and fill with water until the water is a little less than an inch over the quinoa
- Add a pinch of salt
- Bring to a boil
- Immediately turn down to a simmer/low, stirring regularly
- Keep an eye on the quinoa until it is the texture you desire, tastes right, or all the water is absorbed (about 10-15 minutes)
P.S. It’s pronounced “keen-wah.” I won’t even tell you how I used to think it was pronounced. Even if it will make you feel better about yourself.
Enjoy! And please let me know if you give it a try. I’d love to know if it worked for you too.