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
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.
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.
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.
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.