Weekends are usually busy for us, but every once in awhile we get a chance to have dinner with friends. This past weekend found us at old friends' house for dinner (the friends are not old, we've just known them for a long time). One of the dishes on the menu was a quinoa pilaf. It was light and refreshing and I had to have the recipe. Usually I get "well I threw in a little of this and a little of that" but this time, the basic framework was hastily written on a dry erase board. We snapped a picture - there you go! Cooking by the seat of your pants at its best! This pilaf included toasted quinoa (toasting is a must), carrot, celery and rainbow chard stems (stems only, what a great way to use chard stems!).
SK's Go - To Quinoa Pilaf
Toast 2 cups rinsed quinoa (a mix of regular and red is nice) in a dry skillet for several minutes until fragrant, stirring often to prevent the quinoa from burning. While the quinoa is toasting, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. When the quinoa is done toasting, add the quinoa to the boiling water. Cover and cook about 15 minutes or until the quinoa has absorbed all the water (uncover and cook a few minutes more if needed to make sure the water has all been absorbed or evaporated). Remove from heat to a large bowl, stirring from time to time to release heat.
Prepare the vegetables by dicing. Exact quantities and types are not too important, go for a mix of colors and flavors (my basic ratios are 2 parts celery, 2 parts carrot, one part onion and 1 - 4 parts other veggies) - ratio to grain is flexible. Add chopped fresh parsley. Last, mix the dressing ingredients - 3 tbsp. olive oil plus 2 tbsp. cider vinegar (double if needed) separately and add the all at once to the quinoa mixture, toss to coat well. Serve at room temperature. Enjoy!