To make a salad super unique, you can make this delicious Red Quinoa Crisps recipe. Frying cooked quinoa in a bit of olive oil transforms it from soft and a bit bitter, to crispy with an earthy, nut-like flavor. It becomes the perfect topping, garnish and/or snack. This should be on your crunchy salad topping recipes list. Of course we all have one of those. 😉 This is not what you think!
Here’s the thing, not everybody enjoys quinoa. (GASP!) However, I think I’m going to change that for a few folks today.
You see I’ve found a way to raise quinoa to another level. A superior level.
I’ve always liked quinoa, but I must say, using this cooking technique I’m going to show you, I now love it!. And it’s quite simple.
From the image above, you really can’t see what’s going on. It very likely just looks like cooked red quinoa to you. Well, don’t let your eyes fool you.
Let me explain . . . . from the time it finishes cooking in water, to the time it’s spooned it into that cute red and white bowl, it undergoes a major transformation. Each and every grain goes from soft and a bit bitter to crispy, subtly sweet and extremely flavorful.
Adding this quinoa crisps recipe to my Citrus Roasted Vegetable Salad is what makes it extra special.
Not only does this make for an excellent garnish and topping for salads, but it’s also a fabulous side dish or snack.
I think when we look for crunchy salad topping recipes, we’re usually thinking about spiced pecans, or croutons — which is why this is the unexpected ingredient everyone will love.
Call it what you will — however, any which way, it’s an absolutely delightful savory treat that you won’t want to miss!
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup dry red quinoa (or any color you like)
- about 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pour the water into a small pot, place it over high heat, and bring to a boil. Add the quinoa, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Lay a clean, dry kitchen cloth out on the counter and pour the quinoa onto it, trying to do so in a thin even layer. Gently press down on the cooked quinoa with a double layer of paper towels. Once it's fairly dry, add enough of the olive oil to coat the bottom of a large sauté pan, and place it over medium-high heat.
Once it's very hot, carry the quinoa to the pan in the kitchen towel and carefully pour it in. It should sizzle when it hits the pan. Keeping the heat fairly high, stirring from time to time, cook until it begins to pop up a bit and it's quite crispy, about 10 minutes. (The time will vary depending on the size and thickness of the pan.) It's should almost be sticking to the bottom of the pan when it's done. Almost. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Here's how.)