I love side dishes like this one that pair well with a variety of meats and veggies, and I especially love extra on hand for lunches and/or dinners throughout the week. Quinoa is a grain that I make frequently, as it’s gluten free and full of protein (as well as fiber and lots of vitamins/minerals). While it’s quite nice plain, I often add veggies, beans, fresh herbs, etc. to jazz it up a bit.
This variation includes shallots, lots of fresh parsley and pine (or pignoli) nuts. I toast the nuts first, which gives them a wonderful nutty flavor and a nice, golden color. In the summer, this quinoa is a perfect base for all kinds of kebabs and at this time of year, I love to serve it with roasted chicken, pork or beef.
Quinoa with Shallots, Fresh Herbs and Pine Nuts (GF)
- 3 Tbsp. Pine pignoli nuts
- 1-2 shallots finely diced
- 2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa rinsed
- 2 cups water or broth chicken or vegetable
- ¼ tsp. Salt
- ¼ cup chopped parsley and more for garnish
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the pine nuts in a small frying pan over high heat, tossing them frequently until toasted and lightly golden (be sure not to step away from the pan, as they will burn very quickly!). Remove from pan and set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, place the chopped shallots and the olive oil. Sauté until translucent (approximately 4-5 minutes). When done, add the quinoa and the cooking liquid (water or broth), along with the salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. And cover the pot. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow quinoa to sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and toss in the parsley and the toasted pine nuts. Add pepper to taste and garnish with some more fresh parsley.
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