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Quinoa and Onion Risotto with Crème Fraîche and Hazelnuts

Photo: Randy Mayor
Yield 6 servings
A powdery phytochemical called saponin covers quinoa. Rubbing and rinsing the grain rids it of that bitter coating. Serve this nutty side dish as an accompaniment to peppercorn-crusted pork tenderloin or ham.


  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped Oso Sweet or other sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 3 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted

Nutrition Information

  • calories 245
  • caloriesfromfat 29 %
  • fat 8 g
  • satfat 2.5 g
  • monofat 3.3 g
  • polyfat 1.5 g
  • protein 7.3 g
  • carbohydrate 37.4 g
  • fiber 4.3 g
  • cholesterol 8 mg
  • iron 4.3 mg
  • sodium 413 mg
  • calcium 61 mg

How to Make It

  1. Place quinoa in a fine sieve; place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain. Repeat procedure twice. Drain well.

  2. Combine 6 cups water, salt, thyme, and bay leaf in a large saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook 5 minutes; discard thyme and bay leaf. Keep warm over low heat.

  3. Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add quinoa; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add warm seasoned water, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion of warm seasoned water is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total). Stir in vinegar. Spoon 2/3 cup risotto into each of 6 small bowls or plates; top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons crème fraîche. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons hazelnuts.