Quinoa is a bit of a conundrum. It's a grain but a non typical cereal grain. It's packed with protein and calcium making it ideal for vegans and vegetarians. It's also hands down the easiest thing to prepare: rinse 1 cup of quinoa under cold water. Prepare 2 cups of cold water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa. Turn down the heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes. Turn out into a bowl and fork through to allow the steam to evaporate. Done. It's not tricky and fickle like rice or couscous.
Here's a great lunch salad. Or side dish. Even better as a main with chickpeas added to the mix. It's also excellent the next day so tuck it away as a great prepare ahead recipe. I used pistachios and dried cherries but any combination of dried fruit and nuts that you enjoy would likely be good too -- hazelnuts and dried apricots, dried plums and walnuts, slivered almonds and dried cranberries. If you can't find radicchio you could try thinly sliced red cabbage or sliced endive. Explore. Enjoy.
Quinoa with Pistachios and Dried Cherries
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 head radicchio, sliced thinly
Tbsp of chopped dried cherries
Tbsp of pistachios, halved
Handful of fresh parsley chopped
Coarse sea salt to taste
A white balsmic vinegar and olive oil dressing: I go 1 to 1 but you may prefer 1 to 2