Quinoa - a revelation!

~  Menu  ~

Quinoa Pilaf
A selection of cheeses
Freshly picked salad greens
Chicken Liver Pâté
Roasted Garlic Jam
Toasted Breads
2 large glasses of Sauvignon Blanc
2 warm Chocolate Brownies and Cream

I am ashamed to say that I have never ever tasted or even met quinoa before.  Having admitted this to my friend Debbie she invited me to lunch and on the way to her house (she picked me up and delivered me home too!) she entertained me with strange talk of The Rings of Saturn, belly buttons and wiggly white things all of which apparently pertained to quinoa – pronounced keenwah.

The weather today has been gorgeous and we ate outside her lovely house in her lovely garden and had to shout over the birdsong and sound of the river burbling in the valley below. 

As Debs set the lunch on the table ..

… her husband quietly hosed down the toaster, which was on fire …

 … and then we set to.  Lovely food, great company, chilled white wine, glorious weather, beautiful setting, nice old dog – perfect.


This evening I have looked into quinoa and discovered the following ...

~ Quinoa is related to spinach and chard and is of the goosefoot family, whatever that is! 
~ It is a seed (but does have a very grain-like attitude).  
~  Native to South America it was considered sacred by the Incas. 
~  Quinoa comes in a variety of colours, I have only tried white but understand that whilst white quinoa cooks up fluffier, red quinoa and black quinoa doesn’t stick together so much and is crunchier. 
~  It should be soaked or rinsed before cooking (unless already treated in which it should say as much on the packaging) to remove indigestible saponins.  
~  The tiny “grain” is best cooked by the absorption method 1:2 grain to water (or stock) the same way as rice for about the same amount of time 15 minutes or so.
~  It is ready when pale brown and translucent with a white ring round it and/or a white curlicue (or stickie outie belly button) poking from it.  

This was my first taste of quinoa but certainly, certainly not my last – I’m very impressed. It is nutty, slightly chewy and delicious and reading about it I can see that it has loads of potential. 

News from the Future


debs said...

aw!thankyou for includng us (and the dog and the toaster in your blog!RIP toaster!glad you enjoyed lunch!x

jaltarangart.in said...

great blog it's wonderful.