I almost let the month go by without making our Tyler Florence Fridays optional "Megan's Challenge" recipe, Quinoa Pilaf. Although it is optional, as co-host it seems like bad form to miss it so I threw together a half-batch yesterday. (Very happy it is such an easy recipe). This one is pretty healthy so I didn't make many changes, other than using things I had on hand and adapting it a bit to my tastes.
The recipe is from Tyler's Food 911 show and can be found at the Food Network site here.
(Makes 4 Servings)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon preserved lemon rind, finely diced
1 tomato, finely chopped
1 (15-ounce) can artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup black olives, pitted
1/4 cup currants
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish
In a small saucepan, combine broth, quinoa, bay leaf, turmeric, salt, pepper and olive oil in a saucepan. Stir in preserved lemon and cover. Simmer until water is absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off heat. Add tomato, artichokes, onion, olives and currants, mix well to combine. Top with mint and serve.
Notes/Results: Good. I don't think it's my favorite Tyler recipe ever and I like my own recipe for Curried Quinoa Salad better, but this is still a flavorful and simple dish and a great healthy side dish. The changes I made; I used a combo of about 1/3 red quinoa and 2/3 regular, just for the color. I didn't have preserved lemon, so I added the zest of a lemon instead. Also I used a mix of dried cranberries and blueberries in place of the currents, as I had them on hand. Finally, I roasted up some pine nuts and tossed them in as I really like the crunchy texture and toasted, nutty flavor they add to a dish like this. If you are thinking the mint leaves look a little different, they are a ginger mint. The herb people at our farmer's market carry a wide variety of mints (pineapple, apple, chocolate, menthol, ginger, etc.), and that happened to be the kind I bought this week. It is a nice combination of mint and a light ginger flavor and worked just fine in the pilaf. BTW--The recipe says it "makes 4 servings" and mine is a half batch that as a side dish would serve four or even more, so Tyler was expecting some mighty big appetites on this one or maybe serves it as a main dish.
We'll be rounding up the pilafs of those who "took the challenge" at the beginning of the month on the TFF site.