Saturday, November 14, 2009

Toasted Quinoa with Spinach, Toasted Walnuts and Parmesan

This is what we are having for dinner tonight:

(You can watch me make this delicious F&F dish on View from the Bay with Spencer Christian.)

Toasted Quinoa Stirred with Spinach, Toasted Walnuts and Parmesan Cheese

Quinoa is botanically an herb although it is always grouped in with grains. It is quick cooking and has a sweet mild taste and a pleasant crunch. Serve as a side dish with sautéed onions and fresh herbs, stir into soups to thicken and enrich, add to salads, or try it—instead of rice—in this simple stirred dish that is reminiscent of “pilaf”.

1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated or crushed garlic
1 ¾ cups hot water
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ cup broken walnuts
2 cups packed (about 8 ounces) tender spinach, stems trimmed, torn into 1 inch pieces
1 cup tri-color grape or petite cherry tomatoes
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Torn basil leaves (optional garnish)

1. Place the quinoa in small bowl; add water to cover; swish to rinse; pour into fine mesh strainer; drain well.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread damp quinoa on rimmed sheet pan and roast until toasted, about 15 minutes.

3. Heat quinoa, oil and garlic in a medium skillet over low heat and cook, stirring, until coated with oil, about 30 seconds. Add water and salt, stir over high heat until boiling. Reduce heat and cook, covered, over medium low heat, until all of the water is absorbed and the quinoa has burst open and is fluffy, 18 to 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile spread the walnuts in a small skillet and stir over medium low heat until toasted, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

5. When quinoa is cooked add spinach and tomatoes to the skillet. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until spinach is almost wilted and tomatoes are warmed, about 1 minute. Stir in walnuts and cheese. Garnish with basil and serve.

Makes 4 servings


  1. This sounds delicious and the video is so much fun!

  2. Aunt Marie- Ever since I went to Peru, I have been dying for Quinoa. So... tonight I finally made quinoa stuffed peppers. They were great, but now I can't wait to make toasted quinoa with spinach!!! Sounds really delicious! I love this site by the way- so many great recipes! XOXO