Author Notes: I’ve been on a bit of a quinoa kick for quite a while. When I was at home, in desperate search of something tasty to pack in my lunch for school the next day, I would often find myself turning to quinoa. It cooks quickly, and is virtually a blank canvas for all sorts of flavor pairings. The combination of toasty walnuts, tangy goat cheese, and fragrant thyme was one of my favorite combinations of flavors. For lunch, it pairs well with roasted broccoli or sauteed chard. For dinner, it goes well with lamb, chicken, pork, or steak. —lunalovegood
cup white quinoa
walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
cup coarsely chopped walnuts
sprigs thyme (lemon thyme is nice, too)
cup coarsely chopped pitted green olives
freshly ground black pepper
red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
cup crumbled goat cheese
- Bring two cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add your quinoa and a good pinch of salt. Give it a quick stir and cover the pan. Cook for around 12-20 minutes, or until the quinoa is done and most (or all) of the water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork, then cover the pan and let sit off the heat for five minutes to steam.
- In a medium skillet, heat about a tablespoon of your oil over medium-high heat. Once it’s good and hot, and your walnuts and thyme leaves and cook until nuts are fragrant and lightly toasted, just a few minutes.
- Turn the heat down to low. Add the olives, cooked quinoa, and a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to the skillet. Season with fresh black pepper and toss with the cheese. Transfer to a serving bowl and tuck in!
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