Quinoa Risotto with Asparagus and Preserved Lemon
This recipe highlights great fresh spring flavors. Go to your local farmers market to see if you can get local spring onions and asparagus—it will make the dish even better!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallots or spring onion, cut into small dice
- 2 cloves garlic, cut into small dice
- ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
- 2½ cups water
- 12 asparagus stalks, sliced thinly
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ preserved lemon, rind only
- 1 cup spring peas
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons chives
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Optional garnish: high-quality feta, crumbled
- Rinse the quinoa well under cold water and leave to drain.
- Add the olive oil to a large pot and cook the shallots, garlic and chili flakes over gentle heat for 5 minutes until soft. Add the quinoa. Stir to combine and add the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a very gentle simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure the quinoa does not catch on the bottom of the pan. When ready, the quinoa should be tender and most of the liquid absorbed.
- Meanwhile, heat a grill or a grill pan over the stove. When hot, grill the asparagus until tender with grill marks. Toss together with lemon juice. Remove the tips and slice the rest into 1/8-inch slices. Once the risotto is ready, add preserved lemon, sliced asparagus, spring peas, butter and chives. Stir together vigorously until rich and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with grilled asparagus tips and feta, if using.