Quinoa with onions, carrots, chick peas and raisins

Jewelled Quinoa w/ Chick Peas, Orange, Greek Raisins & Olive Oil

I fell in love with jewelled rice, a Persian classic, since first tasting it many years ago. I have adapted it here so that quinoa is the starch. You can find Greek olive oil and other carefully curated Greek artisan products at my online food store, here.


  • ½ cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 garlic clove diced
  • 1 small fennel bulb diced
  • 1 scant teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cup quinoa cooked according to package directions
  • Peel of 1 orange cut into 1-inch / 2.5-cm strips, then julienned
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt pepper to taste


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat and cook the carrots, fennel and onion, covered, until soft and glistening, about 8 minutes. Stir in the spices and cook all together for a minute. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for a minute. Remove from heat. Remove and discard the star anise.
  2. Cook the quinoa according to package directions. Alternatively, place it in a pot with ample cold water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, then drain. Fluff with a fork.
  3. While the quinoa and onion-carrot mixture are cooking, prepare the orange zest. Bring a cup of water in a small pot to a boil and blanch the peel. Drain and repeat two more times, to de-bitter. Then, place the sugar and ½ cup of water in the small pot. Bring to a simmer and add the julienned, blanched orange zest. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, then drain.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked (and drained) quinoa, onion-carrot-fennel mixture, cooked chick peas, raisins, orange zest, parsley and remaining olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, war or at room temperature. It’s delicious with a little Greek yogurt on the side, too.
Love vegetables? Want to learn more great plant-based Mediterranean dishes? Enroll in my online  class “Baked Vegetable Classics!” 

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