Quinoa is one of those foods that I feel like I should always eat more of. Unusually rich in proteins, it's a great choice for vegetarians, vegans, or those allergic to gluten. I'm none of the above, but as I chew through the earthy, nutty grains, I instantly feel ... healthier and stronger, perhaps? It's all that protein, I'm telling you!
During my time at a farm in France, we had quinoa at least once a day, and if it's good enough for farm laborers, I'm pretty sure it's good enough for your workday. Sheila Lukins' version integrates a chimichurri sauce for a wallop of flavor to liven it up. The dish is satisfying and filling enough to serve by itself or as a side.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 2 teaspoons finely minced green jalapeño pepper
- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
- Finely grated zest of 1 orange
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 scallions (white bulbs and 3 inches green), thinly sliced, for garnish
Combine the quinoa and 2 cups water in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook until the liquid has been absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. The grains should be soft and translucent, with the germ ring visible along the outside edge of each grain. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl.
Whisk the oil and vinegar together, and toss with the quinoa while it is still warm. Add the parsley, oregano, jalapeño, garlic, orange zest, and salt and pepper. Toss, using a fork to keep the grains fluffy. Sprinkle the scallions over the top, and serve at room temperature.