This recipe was inspired by ingredients in my pantry and a recent study of Middle Eastern cuisine. Between the sweetness of the currants and onions, salty/nuttiness of the pistachios and quinoa and freshness of the mint, this dish fully satisfies the palate. Given that the whole dish takes about 15 minutes and most of the ingredients can be kept in your pantry, it’s a great go-to, quickie to have on hand. Sometimes if I’m really feeling lazy and don’t want to go to the market, I don’t use mint and it’s still VERY delicious! But of course the mint adds a wonderful fresh flavor to the dish.
Quinoa with Pistachios, Currants, Red Onion & Mint
1 cup of quinoa
2 cups of water
¼ cup of dried currants
1 medium red onion
¼ scant cup of toasted pistachios
1 tablespoon of fresh mint, chopped or chiffonade
Extra virgin olive oil as needed
Combine water, quinoa and currants and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Once at a boil, turn down to a simmer and cover with a slight opening for air to leave. Cook until the water is fully absorbed, approximately 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and cut red onion, small dice. In a large sauté pan, sweat onions over a low heat until tender and translucent in a generous amount of olive oil 1-2 tablespoons, about 10 minutes. Add more olive oil if necessary so onions do not brown.
Roughly chop pistachios. Add to onions once they are fully sweated.
When the quinoa is done, add to sauté pan with onions and pistachios. Mix well. Season with salt to taste. Toss in mint and serve!
This dish is great served at any temperature and lasts up to a week.