Transform plain quinoa into a flavour packed vegetarian side dish in one easy step. Find top tips on how to cook fluffy quinoa every time. The clue is in fluffy: no-one likes mushy, soapy or bitter. Just add pesto for a flavoursome twist on an already delicious and nutritious staple.
Place the quinoa in a suitably sized pan with a tight fitting lid. Cover it with water, put the lid on and bring to a hard boil. Turn the heat off and leave for a couple of minutes, until it stops bubbling.
Tip into a sieve and run under the cold water tap to wash the grains. Any saponins will come out in the wash.
Shake the sieve to remove any excess water, then return to the pan. Cover with not quite twice the volume of water, in this case 220 ml. But err towards slightly less rather than more if you don't have an accurate measure.
Stir or whisk in the pesto and salt.
Bring to the boil, clamp on the lid and turn down to lowest setting. Cook for 12 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave for at least five minutes to steam. Don't be tempted to take the lid off before it's had time to steam.
Take the lid off and fluff the quinoa up with a fork.
Serve immediately whilst hot, at room temperature or even cold from the fridge.
Perfect as a side dish for stir-fries, quinoa bowls, as part of a meze spread, for salads or for picnics and lunch boxes. Goes particularly well with Middle Eastern, Mediterreanean and Mexican food.Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They’re approximate and should only be used as a guide.