Quinoa is a grain that I have never cooked before. Our local grocery store here in New York does not carry quinoa, but I found a box a little while ago at Trader Joe”s. I thought, “What the heck”, and bought it without knowing what I was going to do with it. A few weeks went by with it sitting on the shelf looking at me, crying for attention.
I finally stumbled upon a recipe in, none other than my The America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, for quinoa pilaf with apples and pecans. I had all of the ingredients, plus a few tilapia filets, and voila…dinner!
It was delicious. I was surprised how much texture the quinoa actually had. When you bite down on the grains, it feels similar, I think, to the “pop” or “crunch” of caviar. Yummy little bursts of wholesome goodness! The nuttiness of the pecans complimented the quinoa, and the apples were little bits of a sweet surprise.Quinoa Pilaf with Apples and Pecans from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook Printable Recipe 3 TBS unsalted butter 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled cored, and chopped fine 1 onion, minced 1 tsp sugar 3/4 tsp minced fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp dried Salt 2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped coarse 2 TBS minced fresh parsley Pepper
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the apple, onion, sugar, thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the drained quinoa and cook until it is just beginning to turn golden, about 4 minutes.
Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the quinoa is tender with a slight crunch, about 15 minutes.
Remove the cover from the saucepan, and continue to cook the quinoa until the remaining of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, let the pilaf stand for 5 minutes. Gently stir in the toasted pecans and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.