Gluten Free Pistachio Garlic Mint Quinoa Pilaf Recipe
A few days ago I shared a recipe for Pistachio Mint Crusted Rack of Lamb, a dinner-party-worthy gluten-free recipe that is seriously simple. Well, a great main course deserves an equally great side dish and I think this Pistachio Garlic Mint Quinoa Pilaf is just the thing. Not only is the taste amazing but it is so healthy!
Quinoa is loaded with complete protein, pistachios are a heart-healthy, cholesterol free nut packed with minerals and vitamins and mint has not only digestive soothing properties but is a strong anti-fungal which eases asthma and allergy symptoms and it is thought to have cancer fighting properties as well.
What I love most about this recipe is that it tastes a little exotic and really livens up a weekday meal. As delicious as that lamb recipe was, I could honestly just have a big bowl of this quinoa and be perfectly happy, it makes a great vegan main course. And it would be equally good with a simple roasted chicken or piece of grilled fish.
Whether for a weeknight dinner or fancy-schmancy dinner party, this is a simple, quick, healthy recipe that packs a lot of flavor.
- ½ cup shelled - roasted, salted pistachios
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot or ¼ small red onion - finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 ½ cups pre-rinsed quinoa
- 2 ¼ cups water
- 1 teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
- 1½ cups fresh mint leaves (loosely packed)
Heat a sauce pot or deep skillet with a lid over medium heat, add the pistachios and toast for about 4 minutes or until fragrant. Put the nuts into the bowl of a food processor and let cool.
Return the pan to the heat, add the olive oil and the shallot or onion. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the shallot starts to soften. Add the garlic and quinoa and toast the quinoa for about 3 minutes – you want the quinoa to lightly toast but you do not want the garlic to brown. Add the water and salt and increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once the water starts to boil, cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
Pulse the pistachios in the food processor until they are roughly chopped. Add the mint and pulse several times until the mint is finely chopped. Stir the mint and pistachios into the quinoa as you fluff it with a fork.
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