Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tyler's Quinoa Pilaf: A Healthy Summer Side

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.

Quinoa Pilaf
Tyler Florence
(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.


  1. I still haven't made anything with quinoa but I did finally try it and really liked it. The pilaf sounds good and I will also look for your curried quinoa salad recipe.

  2. It looks like a pretty standard pilaf, although I do like the addition of olives and artichokes. I would have added the pine nuts as well. They add a little something extra.

  3. this looks great need to cook quinoa again its been a long time

  4. I actually made the quinoa a few weeks ago (but lame-o here forgot to get pictures). I liked the mild flavor of this, but I agree with you that it wasn't a favorite dish.

  5. I've never tried quinoa; like the ingredients in this salad, but will wait for your other recipe.

  6. We enjoyed this too, I cooked the ingredients into the pilaf in the last step as I was serving it hot... and it had to wait for the lamb!
    I love your presentation and additions, very nice!

  7. Hi Deb, Funny the way these things happen. Someone was just asking for a Quinoa recipe. A quick search in my engine and here you are! Since I have never tried cooking with it, I'll be passing this recipe along.

    Thanks so much for sharing, it sure looks good!!!

  8. I've never tried quinoa..the recipe looks great. I love the addition of the pine nuts.

  9. It sounds pretty good...I like quinoa a lot, especially the red, so I'm sure I'd like it!

  10. Well, now I know why I had "quinoa pilaf" written on a sticky note and stuck to my monitor. I never remember what these notes mean, I need to be more specific!


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