Recipe For Sautéed Quinoa with Swiss Chard

Sautéed Quinoa with Swiss Chard
Quinua Salteada con Acelga

Near Cusco, in Peru, I once tasted boiled quinoa flavored with the sautéed leaves of the quinoa plant. For centuries, highland people in Peru and Bolivia have used quinoa leaves (lliccha) as a vegetable. Although quinoa is grown in the United States, I have not been able to find the leaves here, so I use Swiss chard or spinach instead. It’s a marvelous combination. At Cucharamama, this lovely quinoa sauté is a side for our braised short ribs; the pairing is stupendous.

Serves 8

7 ounces slab bacon, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1 medium yellow onion (about 8 ounces), finely chopped (about 1½ cups)
2 fresh yellow Andean peppers (ají amarillo), seeded and coarsely minced
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, leaves coarsely chopped, stems halved lengthwise and then cut into ¼-inch slices
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cups Simple Boiled Quinoa
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt to taste

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned and has rendered its fat, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until golden, about 40 seconds. Add the onion and chiles and cook until the onion is light golden, about 6 minutes. Add the Swiss chard stems and cook until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the black pepper and stir for 1 minute. Add the chopped chard leaves and cook, stirring, until they wilt, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked quinoa and olive oil. Cook to heat through. Season with salt if necessary.

Serving: Serve as you would rice with any braised meat, like short ribs with a brown sugar and mustard crust (page 000) or the Venezuelan blackened eye of round. This is also delicious as a side for grilled breast of duck with tamarillo sauce.

Recipe from “Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America” by Maricel Presilla. (W. W. Norton & Company, 2012)