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Quinoa Pilaf with Pine Nuts and Dried Fruit

This healthful recipe makes a delicious gluten-free side dish that can be enjoyed by all.

Yield: Serves 8


Quinoa is the foundation ingredient in this fragrant dish; experiment with other combinations of fruit and nuts---|perhaps dried cranberries and pistachios for the holidays, or dried apricots and pine nuts for summer. It makes a large batch, perfect for a buffet table or large party. And, the leftovers are just as delicious.

  • 1 cup whole grain quinoa
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups GF vegetable broth
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup candied ginger root, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Toast the quinoa in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the oil and onion to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add the broth, garlic, cinnamon, and salt. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Drain any excess liquid. Stir in cranberries, ginger, pine nuts, and parsley.

  3. Combine the vinegar, oil, and agave nectar in a glass jar with a lid and shake until well blended. Transfer the quinoa to a medium bowl and toss with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm. Or, chill overnight, let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Source: Reprinted with permission from 125 Gluten-Free Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Fenster (Avery/Penguin Group, 2011)

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