In an effort to use my herbs from the garden, I’ve come up with this simple side dish that is light and brightly flavored. You could use any combination of herbs you have – here’s the selection I chose.
1-1/2 c quinoa, rinsed
2 c chicken stock
1 c water
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 c Chives, chopped fine
1 Tbsp thyme, chopped fine
1/2 c basil, chopped fine
2 Tbsp lemon verbena, chopped fine (feel free to omit if you don’t have it)
1/2 tsp lemon zest (from 1 small lemon)
In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, add the butter, garlic, and onions, and cook until the onions are translucent; about 6-8 minutes. Add the quinoa, water, and stock; cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, give it a quick stir, recover, and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Give it a stir – you’ll notice there is extra liquid in the pot, and that’s ok. Move the pot to the back of the stove and recover for 5 minutes; it will absorb the liquid.
While the quinoa cooks, chop the herbs and zest the lemon. The best way to chop delicate herbs is with a very sharp knife. For large herbs like basil, stack the leaves, roll the tightly, and cut thin ribbons down the length – this is also called a chiffonade. If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, there are YouTube videos. For the thyme, strip the leaves from the stem into a pile, and run your knife through it. The chives can be stacked up and cut at the same time.
Turn the cooked quinoa into a medium bowl, add the herbs, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy! This is great with just about anything you’d want to serve it with, and is even good cold the next day.