I take back anything negative I have said about quinoa in the past, especially since there are recipes like this one available. The toasted sesame seeds added a nutty flavor without the extra fat and calories of nuts; the zucchini and dried fruit boosted the vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber; and, the lemon flavor - well, it is lemon and everything is better with lemon! This lemon-flavored side was the perfect complement to my seared salmon. Highly recommended!
Have a mentioned recently how much I love my iPad2? It is so useful in the kitchen, as it remembers all the things I tend to forget! This recipe, as seen above, is from the book Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck, which was named by The New York Times as one of the notable cookbooks for 2011. They wrote:
ANCIENT GRAINS FOR MODERN MEALS by Maria Speck (Ten Speed Press, $29.99). Yes, part of the appeal is the title: “Ancient” sounds so much more interesting than “whole.” But Ms. Speck’s skill as a researcher, and her dual heritage in Greece and Germany, enrich the text — and not just in flavorful recipes like bulgur with butter-roasted almonds and cinnamon, and brown rice cakes with pecorino cheese, olives and sage. Refreshingly, she covers — and then dismisses — the subject of eating whole grains for health in the first half-dozen pages. She’s interested in flavor first, texture second and history along with both. (Julia Moskin)Maria Speck's Lemon Quinoa with Currants, Dill and Zucchini
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped green onions (about 6)
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained
2 cups water
1/2 cup currants
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 small)
4 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1. To make the quinoa, heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add the green onions and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the dark green parts wilt but do not turn brown, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally until the grains start to crackle and turn dry, about 3 minutes.
4. Add the water, the currants and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
5. Bring to a boil then decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, finely grate the zest of the lemon until you have 1 teaspoonful then squeeze the lemon until you have 2 tablespoons of juice.
7. To finish, remove the pan from the heat, stir the zucchini, lemon juice, and zest, 2 tablespoons of the sesame seeds, 2 tablespoons of the dill and the pepper into the quinoa. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
8. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes.
9. Transfer quinoa to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons each of sesame seeds and dill, and serve.
Suggestion: Allow the dish to cool slightly before eating so that it will allow you to better taste the various levels of flavor.