Quinoa Asparagus Pilaf

This simple and nutritious dish is adapted from this month’s recipe in the Thirteen Moons’ calendar.  It would make a yummy seasonal addition to your holiday weekend menu.

1 tbsp. Olive oil

1 cup quinoa, well rinsed and drained

2 cloves garlic, crushed

2 cups water

1 teaspoon sea salt

¼ – ½ teaspoon of chili flakes

1 bunch of asparagus, about a half pound

1 small sweet red pepper, diced

1/2 cup of fresh parsley or herb of choice

2 tablespoons of lemon juice, or to taste

3 tablespoons of pistachios

In a large pot over a medium temperature, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and then the quinoa and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, then add the water, salt and chili flakes. Cover and bring up to the boil. Now lower the heat as far as it will go and cook very slowly for about 15 minutes until all of the liquid has been absorbed.

While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oven (or BBQ) to a moderately hot temperature – 400F/200C. Snap the woody ends off of the asparagus spears and cut them into small pieces, roughly about an inch and a half in length.

Toss the vegetables in a pan with a splash of olive oil and roast in the oven (or BBQ) for 5-10 minutes. The vegetables will still have a little bite at this stage. Add the pepper and asparagus to the quinoa, along with the herbs, lemon juice and pistachios. Fork through to mix and fluff up the quinoa.  Garnish with pistachios. Serves 4.

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