Lemony Chickpea Quinoa
As soon as I set my eyes on this recipe, I knew it would become a favorite.
It’s the brainchild of wildly talented chef Einat Admony, and combines an unusual blend of Moroccan ingredients (preserved lemon, chickpeas) with more new world flavors (cilantro, cranberries). The first time I made it, I had to scour New York City for weeks to find a jar of preserved lemons, though. And I found myself wanting a little more of the addictive fried shallots and hearty chickpeas than the original recipe called for. So the next few times I prepared this dish, I tinkered with the recipes proportions and swapped in some easier-to-find freshly-grated lemon zest for the preserved lemons. These minor tweaks were all it took to evolve this fantastic recipe into a special occasion one to an everyday one, and to render it a bit more substantial as a meatless entree.
Try making this flavorful, healthy quinoa for large family gatherings, as it scales up easily to feed a crowd; just keep the components separate until you’re just ready to serve. Serve it warm or cold. Toss leftovers with a heaping handful or two of arugula and you’ve got a terrific lunch. In the spirit of efficiency, you can cook the shallots, chop your cilantro and zest your lemon while the quinoa is cooking.
Lemon Chickpea Quinoa
Adapted from Einat Admony
Serves 4 as a main dish and 6 as a side
1½ cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2½ cups water
1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 TBSP cup thinly sliced preserved lemon OR zest of 2 lemons
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots, fried in olive oil until crisp (or left raw)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil1 teaspoon kosher salt
Combine the quinoa and water in a medium, lidded pot. Set pot over high heat and bring water to a boil. Lower heat so water gently simmers, and cover pot. Simmer quinoa another 15 minutes and remove from the heat. Let grains stand, covered, for another 5 minutes. Strain and allow to cool completely.Just before serving, place the ingredients together in a large bowl and toss to combine.