It’s November and the holiday season is quickly approaching. Try as I might, there’s no denying it. I saw my first holiday ad on TV last week and my local Whole Foods is already decked out with twinkling snowflakes amidst the fair trade coffee and organic triple-milled soap.
Anyway, around this time of year I love to make dishes like this cranberry quinoa pilaf. It’s simple to make, ready in less than 30 minutes, and calls for ingredients I usually have in my pantry.
Also, it tastes amazing. I love the contrasting flavors and textures. It’s savory but has a hint of sweetness from the dried cranberries. The quinoa is plump and hearty and the toasted almonds add the perfect amount of crunch. It’s a great option for a meatless entrée or an accompanying side dish
Cranberry Quinoa Pilaf with Toasted Almonds
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup almonds, sliced or slivered
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Rinse and drain quinoa. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a medium pan. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Add the quinoa and allow it to toast for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and allow quinoa to simmer for about 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, spread the almonds in an even layer on an ungreased baking tray and toast in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. You will know when they are done when there is a nice nutty smell coming from your oven.
Add the cranberries to the quinoa. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes or until the stock is completely absorbed. Mix in the toasted almonds and fluff quinoa with a fork before serving.