Quinoa Pilaf with Pistachios and Cranberries

IMG_0502It’s a celebration and we’re playing a party game to  commemorate the  42nd month of the Recipe Redux. Cheers! So here’s how the game works. Grab  the nearest cookbook and redux the recipe on page 42 or 142.

Sounds like an easy task, yet this Redux has me clearly confused.  Before I tell you why, let me show you the cookbook I am reading and what’s motivating today’s recipe..Photo-225

I love Plenty More as a coffee table book, as much as I love it for its inspiration to let go of my culinary comfort zone and move into a free-flowing style that celebrates the flavors of both the Mediterranean and Middle East. This book, penned by the author of  Ottolenghi the Cookbook and Jerusalem,   is the much anticipated sequel to Yotam Ottolenghi’s  third book, Plenty.

Now, why I am puzzled? How does anyone make a recipe from a vegetarian cookbook healthier?    As I ponder this oxymoron,  I’m preparing a simplier version of Mr. Ottolenghi’s  elaborate Rice Salad with Nuts and Sour cherries that appears on page 42.  Please forgive me for leaving out the vegetables in my version of  this…IMG_0500 copy

 renamed Quinoa Pilaf with Pistachios and Cranberries. Quinoa is a high protein alternative to pasta or rice, and I ‘m serving it  to a group of omnivores accompanied by roasted brussel sprouts and pork tenderloin.  Here’s how my small crowd describes it ,”awefully delicious“.

Be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post to see what the other books are inspiring members of the Recipe Redux.

IMG_0491Quinoa Pilaf with Pistachios and Cranberries

by Diane Boyd

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios


1. In a medium saucepan, toast quinoa over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until quinoa is fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer quinoa to bowl and set aside.

2. In same saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion and sea salt; cook stirring frequently, until onion is soft and golden light in color, 5-7 mintutes.

3. Increase heat to medium-high and stir in water and quinoa. Bring to simmer, cover, reduce heat to low. Simmer until grains are just tender and liquid is absorbed, 18-20 minutes, stirring halfway throught cooking.

4. Remove pan from heat. Add dried cranberries. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff quinoa with fork. Stir in parsely, sliced scallions, lemon juice, and pistachios. Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve cold.

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