Quinoa with Grilled Zucchini

When I was in Vermont, I had this great salmon dish at Simon Pearce’s The Mill.  The bottom portion was quinoa and my friend Kelly started asking me about.  I realized that this fantastic “grain-like” beauty really goes unnoticed and not very often do you see it on a menu.  The Incas called  it the “Mother of All Grain.” Quinoa is harvested in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.  Nutritionally speaking, it is a complete protein; also high is iron and fiber.  You cook it like rice. 1 cup of Quinoa to 2 cups of H2O.  I’ve discovered over time that you can cut the H2O back to about 1 3/4 cup and still be fine.

One of the main things to know about quinoa is that you need to pre-rinse it before cooking.  Cooking time is around 15 minutes and vegetable stock works great as well.  I’ve notice now in health food stores that there is Quinoa Pasta.  Never tried it before, so can’t attest to it.

Quinoa with Grilled Zucchini

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric, divided
1 teaspoon smoked paprika,* divided
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa (about 6 ounces),** rinsed well, drained
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds medium zucchini (about 5), trimmed, quartered lengthwise
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley


Combine garbanzo beans and lemon juice in large bowl. Add 3 tablespoons oil; press in garlic and stir to combine. Let marinate at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups water, quinoa, and coarse salt; bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 16 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare barbecue (medium high heat). Place zucchini on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika. Toss to coat evenly.

Place zucchini on grill; sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Grill until tender and browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to work surface. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Add zucchini, green onions, and parsley, then garbanzo bean mixture to quinoa. Toss to blend. Season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Recipe from Bon Appetit August 2008


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