Happy first day of summer! I wish I could say it is beautiful and sunny and warm but it’s dreary and cold and dismal. So typical here until July. However I refuse to wear anything but flip-flops, even when it’s raining. I hope you are having a beautiful summer day and your kids are enjoying popsicles and ice cream. My boys are under blankets on the couch at the moment.
Anyway, last weekend I found myself alone in the house for like a day, something that never happens. I immediately turned the television to HGTV so I could watch hours upon hours of House Hunters episodes. Then I made myself a big batch of quinoa! My husband does not consider quinoa a meal or a favorite, but it was just me and HGTV and this dish. Total bliss.
I love Spanish flavors, it reminds me of being in Spain and driving around the countryside. If you’ve ever driven through the heart of Spain then you know it is filled with olive trees. They have something like 700 million olive trees planted there, the scenery is an endless blur of them.
The olive influence is apparent in Spanish cuisine with all the olive oil produced there. But saffron and figs also make a big appearance in many Spanish dishes. I have had some of the best and some of the strangest food in my travels through Spain, but the big, bold flavors have always stuck with me.
The olives give this dish a savory and salty taste, but the saffron is apparent in every bite. One would think the figs would play a larger role in sweetness, but they are just a nice background flavor. I would serve this with fish or grilled chicken for a light summer meal.
Full of color and flavor it will round out your meal.
Spanish Style Quinoa
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup diced dried mission figs
- 1/3 cup sliced Spanish olives with pimentos
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat with olive oil. Add quinoa and garlic and toast for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan chicken broth. Add water, bay leaf, saffron and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover pan and turn down heat to low, simmering for 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add peas, figs and olives. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.