A menage-a-trois of smoke flavours.
If you’ve never had quinoa, you really ought to give it a try.
Quinoa is a grain from the Andes, and it’s very high in protein. It’s also very tasty, not quite as starchy as rice, not as grainy as couscous, not as lumpy as barley. It’s unique, with a taste that easily adapts to any type of cuisine.
I had bought some at a health food shop in Cornwall—I’ve never seen it anywhere locally. Some exotic grains just haven’t caught on here yet. I started making a pilaf, tossing in whatever looked good, and as we were eating, the smoky taste reminded me I’d used three smoked ingredients: tofu, paprika, and dried tomatoes. None of them were overpowering, however.
I served this with some roasted leeks and a green salad.
Remember to pronounce it “KEEN wa” if you want to sound knowledgeable.
Triple Smoked Quinoa Pilaf
1 cup quinoa
2 ½ cups water or vegetable stock
Rinse quinoa under running water for a minute. Place in water and bring to a bowl. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, chopped (or 1 small onion)
1 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ cup chopped red pepper
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
½ pound smoked tofu
½ teaspoon orange peel, grated
1 cup green beans, cut into 2-inch long pieces
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ cup smoked dried tomatoes, or sundried tomatoes (softened in boiling water if not packed in oil)
Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the shallots, coriander and cardamom. Sauté for a couple of minutes and then add the red pepper and garlic. When red pepper just begins to soften, add the tofu, orange peel, and green beans.
Stir fry for a couple of minutes, and add the smoked paprika and dried tomatoes. Toss in the cooked quinoa and serve.