Saturday, April 14, 2012

Coriander? (and a recipe for Quinoa Pine Nut Pilaf)

Last summer, I let me cilantro go to seed. (unintentionally, of course)

Trying to make the best of the situation, I decided to let the seeds dry out on the back porch. Only, they hung there, neglected, from summer into fall, and then all winter long.

Spring came and I finally decided to pluck the seeds from the dried plant.

About two weeks later, those seeds, are still waiting in that tiny clay pot. Waiting to be crushed up and become part of something -- quinoa pilaf perhaps, or maybe a chickpea and spinach dish. The seeds are barely enough to season one dish -- if any at all.

Honestly, I'm a little afraid. What do you think, will they taste good, like I would expect coriander to taste? Or, will they ruin the meal?

Either way, this recipe for the pilaf is worth sharing.

Quinoa Pine Nut Pilaf
from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites

1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 bell pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander - if you have seeds, work those muscles with your mortar and pestle, or if you're a whimp (you don't have to tell anyone) use a coffee grinder reserved for spices 
1 cup qunioa, rinsed
1 2/3 cup water
1/2 cup chopped, fresh basil (or some dried, if it's the wrong season)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

In a saucepan, saute the onions and garlic in oil for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the bell peppers, cumin and coriander, and continue sauteing for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rinsed quinoa and the water to the saucepan, cover tightly, and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Stir in the basil and corn, and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until the quinoa is tender.
Stir the pilaf to fluff it, add salt and perpper to taste, and serve topped with the toasted pine nuts.

*For a vegetarian meal, serve with roasted vegetables. Or, since we're omnivores in our house, we have enjoyed the pilaf with a roasted chicken.

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