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How to cook quinoa | The Italian kitchen – Italian cuisine reinvented by Gordon Ramsay

La Cucina Italiana


Quinoa is a lot similar to cereals, but it actually belongs at the spinach and beetroot family. Particularly loved by those who must avoid glutenmuch appreciated by vegans and vegetarians, quinoa is rich in vegetable proteins. To better appreciate the basic food of the Andean populations, here** **are the tricks and secrets on how cook quinoa to perfection.

How to cook quinoa: mistakes not to make

Anyone who has tasted quinoa and didn’t like it probably cooked it incorrectly. Is critical always rinse the beans thoroughly under plenty of running water: protecting this fake cereal is **saponin, **a bitter substance with an unpleasant taste that is not good to find on the plate (even if it is absolutely harmless to humans). Then forget about cooking quinoa like any boiled cereal: for each glass of well-rinsed quinoa that you put in the pan, add two glasses of water (or broth), add salt, turn on the heat and cook the grains for about 10-12 minutes, after which the liquid should have been absorbed. There will be no need to drain and risk destroying the small seeds.

Quinoa: which one to choose?

Before thinking about how to cook quinoa, you need to choose the right variety. It is available on the market white, red and black. The white one is the one with the most neutral flavour, suitable for beginners or for preparing desserts. The red and black versions, however, have a more distinct and nutty taste.

How to cook quinoa: tricks to make it tastier

You want enhance the hazelnut scent of this pseudocereal? Toast the seeds a few minutes (exactly as is done for risotto), before adding the cooking liquid. You can use any type of broth or cow’s or vegetable milk for your sweet or savory quinoa-based recipe.

Quinoa in the kitchen: how to use it

There are no limits to using quinoa in cooking: it can replace pasta or rice in recipes soups,** **is very inviting sautéed with vegetables, but also in the oven for some flans details or to thicken meatballs without eggs or breadcrumbs. Perfect for savory recipes, quinoa also finds space in many desserts: cooked with cow’s or vegetable milk it can replace oats in porridge; you can blend it for puddings; use for cereal bars to be cooked in the oven and also to flavor cakes and biscuits.

How to eat quinoa: the right ingredients

The delicate flavor of quinoa pairs particularly well with **legumes and vegetables, **especially mushrooms and pumpkin, raw or cooked. Ginger, cumin or cardamom they are the spices that go best with this food, while from the point of view of animal proteins you won’t go wrong with white meats, fish or prawns. For a sweet version, go ahead to vanilla, chocolate, raisins and hazelnuts.

by Alessia Calzolari

Everything you need to prepare quinoa

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Amazon’s Happy Belly Select organic quinoa is very good because it has a delicate nutty aroma and a pleasant texture. You can find it online at a super price: 4 packs of 500g and just over 12 euros. Try it in couscous, in salads and also in the sweet version with raisins, nuts and honey.

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