Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Lemon Scented Quinoa with Feta, Basil and Pine Nuts

My friend Claire made this over the summer and I loved it to pieces. I tried making it at home...and failed. Last night I made it again and used less lemon juice and oil than the recipe called for and fell in love all over again. I served it with Giada's Lemon Cumin Chicken (in the post below this one) and the flavors played off of each other beautifully. That sounded dirty. And possibly utilized incorrect grammar. But you know what I mean (meant?) I'm going to bed now.

Lemon Scented Quinoa with Feta, Basil and Pine Nuts
Serves 5-6 as a side dish or 4 as a meatless meal with a salad.

1 generous tablespoon olive oil, or enough to lightly coat the bottom of a medium saucepan
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeds and veins removed and chopped
3/4 cup quick cooking quinoa
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1/8 teaspoon (or a little more) garlic powder
Zest of 1 large lemon, reserve lemon
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
2-3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Juice from large lemon you zested
Salt as needed

Add the oil to a medium saucepan with a lid. Put over medium heat and let heat through one minute. Add the shallots and chopped red pepper and just a tiny pinch of salt (don't over salt it because you're about to add chicken stock in a minute.) Sauté stirring occasionally for 8 minutes or until shallot is translucent and soft.

Stir in the quinoa, chicken stock, garlic powder and lemon zest and raise the heat to high. Bring to a rolling boil, stir again then turn the heat to low and put the lid on for ten minutes. After ten minutes check to see if the quinoa has 'popped' (its little tail comes out in a teeny tiny curly q) and all of the liquid should be absorbed by it. If not put the lid back on and give it a few more minutes until this happens.

Remove the quinoa from the burner and let sit for 5 minutes with the lid on then gently scrape with a fork to fluff as you would couscous. Stir in the chopped herbs, feta, pine nuts and lemon juice. Taste for salt and add any if needed.

Serve with chicken or fish or on its own as a meatless meal if desired.


Mary said...

This sounds lovely and when paired with the chicken below I'm sure it made for a spectacular meal. I hope you are having a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Thanks Mary! It was a good combo and I hope you're having a great week!

Ashley Bee said...

Looks like a dish that would be good served cold OR warm!

Reeni Pisano said...

All my favorite flavors combined into one! I love salads like this that I can snack on all day long - every time I wander to the kitchen cause I'm bored. . .it's already there and made.

Joyti said...

LOL - I know what you mean. It sounds delicious.

curly purplepig said...

ooh this sounds great! Wish I could find quinoa here!