The Beggars’ Banquet: Spicy Quinoa with Citrus, Pistachio, & Herb Puree

I spend maybe a little more time than the average person perusing cookery blogs, trawling for recipes I can adapt or cook plain for my family. I’m big on flavor, and we don’t eat meat (except fish), so sometimes it’s hard to find seasonally-appropriate recipes that fit our taste. So I was particularly delighted when I stumbled across this one that needed only a few modifications, from Yummy Supper. I’m revising the recipe for how I made it, since the tangerines I intended to cook with went horrifically bad very fast before I could use them.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1.5 cups quinoa
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup ┬álemonade
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • juice of 4 limes
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • dash of pepper (I used white, but use whatever)
  • 2 jalapenos, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup non-shelled pistachios
  • 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

How You Do It:

  1. Combine quinoa and water in a large saucepan; bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat and cover to simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until quinoa is cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Place lemonade, olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, jalapenos, cilantro, and mint in a blender (or in a container for immersion blending). Blend until fully pureed.
  3. Toss quinoa with puree, then mix in pistachios. Top with goat cheese and additional cilantro and/or mint for garnish.

It’s an absurdly easy recipe, which is great, because I think it packs a lot of flavor punch for so little effort. I apologize for the lack of pictures; it comes together really quickly and wasn’t much to look at, so the opportunity (and desire) to record the process on film was pretty minimal. The original recipe called for tangerine juice instead of lemonade and the addition of peeled tangerine slices, and the original recipe’s site’s pictures don’t display the puree mixed into the quinoa, which turns them avocado green; but I assure you no matter how odd the thing looks when you finish, the taste is unbelievable. You can substitute a vegan cheese for the goat cheese and enjoy this meal completely without animal products if you prefer; it would even be fine without cheese altogether. (Though, frankly, who wants that?)

By Meghan Young Krogh

Meghan had a number of quality writing mentors over the course of her education, which just goes to show that you can't blame the teacher for the way the student turns out. Team Oxford Comma represent.

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