Quinoa with Caramelized Onions

This dish makes a fantastic bed for grilled or steamed vegetables.  The Quinoa adds a light crunch to the deep and sweet taste of the slow-cooked onions.  You can use any type of Quinoa.  For this dish,  I  used tri-color Quinoa.


4 medium yellow,  or red onions(about 1 pound),  halved and thinly sliced.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons brown sugar

3/4 cup Quinoa

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock,  beer,  or water(I used water).

2-3 sprigs fresh thyme


Put the onion in a large skillet with a lid over medium heat.  Cover and cook,  stirring infrequently,  until the onions are dry and almost sticking to the pan,  about 20 minutes.  Add the oil and the brown sugar and cook,  stirring occasionally,  until the onions brown,  another 10 to 15 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium-high,  add the Quinoa,  and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Stir as the grains start popping and toasting,  a couple of minutes,  then add the stock and bring to a boil.  Stir one last time,  add the thyme,  cover,  and reduce the heat to low.  Cook undisturbed,  for 15 minutes.

Uncover and test the quinoa for doneness.  If the kernels are still sort of hard,  make sure there’s enough liquid to keep the bottom of the pan moist and cover them to cook for another 5 minutes or so.  When ready,  taste,  adjust the seasoning,  and remove the thyme if necessary,  adding a few extra grinds of pepper.  Serve immediately.

I served this as a bed for steamed carrots and it was really good.  It had a very smoky flavor.   This takes some time,  but is very easy to prepare.  I enjoy making these kinds of meals because you can take your time getting it ready,  being mindful of each step.  I had a nice glass of wine with this dish and enjoyed sharing it with Mark,  who enjoyed it also.


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