Quinoa, a true pearl
Quinoa, which originated in South America, is the seed of a leafy plant that’s related to spinach. It can substitute rice and most grains in side dishes, salads, soups, and even in puddings. It has a slightly crunchy texture, and it tastes similar to couscous.
Its tiny ivory-coloured beads are coated with a bitter resin called saponin that can be easily removed before cooking, by rinsing thoroughly under cold running water.
Quinoa has a higher nutritive value than any other grain: It abounds in proteins, it is a good source of fibre and, as it is gluten-free, it is good news for people suffering from celiac disease.
Nowadays, it is easily available in the organic foods section at many supermarkets.
Try our recipes with quinoa:
Warm Quinoa and Arugula Salad
Quinoa and Lentil Salad
Date and Quinoa Squares
Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on May 5, 2007.