This recipe was inspire by one I found in the Sunset Magazine cookbook my mom got me for Christmas. I say “inspired” because I didn’t have the exact ingredients it called for, but I think I like my version better than the one I would have made if I had what I was “supposed to” have.
The ingredients I used are: quinoa, chicken broth, clementines, dried berries, chives, and pine nuts. The actual recipe called for OJ and currants, I think… And in retrospect, you could really use just about any citrus fruit’s juice and any dried fruit and it’d probably be pretty tasty…
Anyway… first you chop up your chives and your dried fruit.
I think you could add a lot more chive to this recipe, it really adds a little something special and I didn’t think there was enough of it in the end. I used about 1/4 cup.
I had a mixture of dried berries lying around – I think this has cranberries, blueberries and cherries maybe? Use about 1/2 cup.
Next up, toast your pine nuts. Watch them like a hawk while you do this – they can burn in an instant (and that is not a fun smell at all).
Toasty perfection… I think the recipe called for 1/2 cup, but I only used 1/4 cup and thought it was a good amount.
Zest and juice your clementines – the zest has a really nice, but strong, flavor, so keep that in mind when deciding how much zest to add. I used about 1 cup of fluffy zest (does that make any sense?) and my final dish was very citrusy flavored, which was what I was hoping for.
Once you zest your clementines, juice them (make sure to do it in this order – way easier to zest a whole fruit then flimsy shell, I promise). You’ll need about 1/2 cup to 1 cup of juice (again depending on how citrusy you want your final dish to be).
Next, rinse and cook up your quinoa. You need to be sure to rinse the quinoa because when it comes out of the earth, it has this bitter coating on it that may linger around, even if it comes out of a box (like mine did). You don’t want bitter quinoa, yuck.
To cook the quinoa, you need a 3:1 liquid to grain ratio. So, you use 1 cup of quinoa to 3 cups of liquid (1 cup clementine juice, 2 cups chicken stock or water – I like stock because it gives the final dish more flavor). This will give you 3 cups of final product (A LOT!). Also, I added in my dried fruit when it was almost done so that they could soften up a bit.
You cook it covered and the quinoa absorbs all the liquid, so when it’s done it should look like this! Fluff it with a fork (so you don’t smush the little quinoas) and add it all the other ingredients.
Stir and serve! Yum!
I will definitely make this again – very tasty and a great change up to my normal dinner menu.
Do you like to add citrus flavor to dishes?