Throw away all of your other savory quinoa recipes - this is the last one you will ever need.
Some people believe that food blogs should only be vehicles for New!Original!Wow! but anyone who's read this blog for any amount of time knows i dont feel that way... This blog is a way for me to chronicle my favorites - whether I created or just replicated - and share them with others. This is pretty close to a pure replication, from one of our favorite sources, Mark Bittman.
Since making it the first time, its become the default go-to recipe when we want a grain-y side and there isnt an otherwise-obvious answer (ie mexican food gets mexican rice)... between the health benefits of quinoa and the overall yumminess of this recipe, i cant see any reason for it to lose its place at the top any time soon...
The Best Savory Quinoa EVER
courtesy of Mark Bittman - How to Cook Everything (a variation on the Roasted Corn Quinoa) with minor revisions by Jordan
2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, minced
salt & pepper
3/4 c quinoa - rinsed and drained
1.5 c hot water with 1 large vegetable bouillon cube (the kind that makes 2 cups of stock) dissolved in it*
parsley (dried or fresh will do)
Place oil in skillet/saucepan (make sure it has a lid - you dont need it yet, but you will) over medium heat
Once oil is hot, add in the shallots and a little salt & pepper. Stir to coat and then allow to cook 3 - 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shallots begin to brown.
Once the shallots have browned, add in the quinoa. Stir to coat with oil & to combine. Allow to sit until grains start popping/toasting. This will take about 5 minutes. You can stir a little, but not too much, during this time. Once the popping has begun (you'll see 'movement' among the grains) add in the broth (water/bouillion) and bring to a boil.
Stir and then cover and reduce heat to super-low so that the pot is just lightly simmering.
Allow to cook 15 minutes. (you may want to check on it after 10 minutes to be sure that its not dry. If it is, add another 1/4c of water and stir, reduce heat even further, and continue to cook)
Check after 15 minutes. If water is gone but grains are still too crunchy for your taste (quinoa generally will have a slight 'crunch' to it) add in more water, 1/4 c at a time, until it is cooked to your taste. If there is still water, continue to cook, checking every few minutes.
Once fully cooked, remove from the stove and add a few shakes of parsley (if dried or a small handful of chopped fresh) and a bit of additional pepper. For some reason, this last step REALLY makes a huge difference - prior to adding the parsley, it can seem too salty and a bit blah, but afterwards, its perfect. the parsley is truly more than just a garnish.
Stir and serve.
* you can obviously use 1.5 c of vegetable broth if you want. In a small manhattan kitchen, its just easier to keep bouillon on hand than it is to keep containers of broth...