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One cup of mint in one fell swoop

Weekend Herb BloggingThis summer, when the mint was taking over its large pot, I searched for a recipe that might use a lot of mint. A LOT OF MINT. None of this two tablespoons here and a garnish there. I wanted serious mint action.

My solution came in the form of a brilliantly simple recipe I located on Breakthrough Health and Fitness. When I found it, I had a box of red quinoa in the cupboard, just waiting to be put to good use. The rest of the ingredients were easy enough to round up at the local co-op, and we were in business.

The only issue I had with the recipe, if issue is even the right word to use here, is that it was so positively delicious that Steve and I polished the entire thing off in one sitting. The original recipe says it serves four to six, but there’s no way it serves more than four, and that would be as a side dish. We were eating it as a main course, with a side of microgreens dressed with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and both of us found we needed an extra helping of the quinoa to truly fill up.

Still, it’s a terrific combination of textures and flavors, and I expect we’ll see it on our dinner table again.

Mint Quinoa with Toasted Cashews and Dried Cranberries
(Serves 4 if it’s a side dish, 2 if you’re hungry…)

Quinoa with mint

1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/3 cup cashew pieces, lightly toasted
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup fresh mint leaves, minced

Rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve. Combine the quinoa and stock in a pot, and bring to a boil; lower the heat, cover, and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed (about 15 minutes).
While the quinoa cooks, wash and cut the mint leaves and lightly toast the cashews by placing them in a single layer on a tray in a toaster oven.
When the quinoa is finished cooking, gently stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes so that the flavors can mingle. Serve immediately or refrigerate and re-warm.

This post is part of Weekend Herb Blogging, a terrific food blogging event hosted by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen. Check out the other great recipes!

10 Comments on “One cup of mint in one fell swoop”

  1. #1 Kalyn
    on Sep 24th, 2006 at 8:18 am

    I just tried the red quinoa for the first time. It think it’d be great combined with mint. Nice recipe.

  2. #2 inadvertentgardener
    on Sep 24th, 2006 at 9:24 am

    Thanks, Kalyn. I really like the red quinoa — it’s so pretty! It would be terrific for some kind of Thanksgiving or Christmas dish, too…I’ll have to get thinking about that.

  3. #3 cole
    on Sep 24th, 2006 at 2:47 pm

    Totally off topic, BUT…my bloggy friend at Trogledytemingon is selling some original watercolors and she is fantasically funny and there is a gardner one… see at
    http://troglodytemignon.wordpress.com/originals/

  4. #4 sher
    on Sep 27th, 2006 at 4:14 am

    I’ve never had the red quinoa–it looks fabulous. A cup of mint! Alright!

  5. #5 inadvertentgardener
    on Sep 27th, 2006 at 11:42 pm

    Cole, I’ve got to go back and check that out again — I really liked that gardener pic. She is very funny!

    Sher, definitely see if you can find the red quinoa. It doesn’t taste much different, and it’s gorgeous!

  6. #6 Janet
    on Sep 30th, 2006 at 11:56 am

    Sounds yummy!

    And all I ever did with the stuff is dry it for mint tea! Iced mint tea is great in the summer…

  7. #7 inadvertentgardener
    on Sep 30th, 2006 at 1:29 pm

    Janet, it is really delicious. I drink it hot, too, in the winter — it’s very refreshing.

  8. #8 BuzzTracker.com
    on Oct 9th, 2006 at 7:00 am

    Featured on BuzzTracker

  9. #9 Emma
    on Oct 14th, 2006 at 11:37 pm

    Thanks for your entry to DMBLGIT – have a look at all the entries here.

    I love quinoa and mint and think sounds wonderful!

  10. #10 inadvertentgardener
    on Oct 15th, 2006 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks, Emma — I appreciate your hosting DMBLGIT this month!

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