There’s a Peruvian restaurant in Portland called Andina that makes one of the most delicious gluten-free dishes I’ve ever had. They call it “quinotto”, a play on words suggesting quinoa cooked in broth, risotto-style. Andina’s version is chock full of vegetables–beets, mushrooms, and more–and topped with Grana Padano cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil. It tastes so good for you, yet completely decadent all at once.
I wanted to reproduce the dish at home, or at least come up with one that’s similar in spirit. Andina’s chef was kind enough to walk me through the steps, just short of giving me an actual recipe. Keep in mind that while the quinoa is indeed cooked in broth, a step that adds flavor to the dish, that’s really where the similarities with risotto end. (This is dump-all-the-broth-in-at-once quick cooking; no stirring involved.) It’s this simple: sauté onions and garlic in olive oil, add the broth and quinoa, simmer, done. How you choose to embellish the dish determines the final product.
While you could easily serve the quinotto this simply, as a side dish or a bed for grilled fish or chicken, I like to play a bit. Today I kept it vegan (pictured here), folding in roasted golden beets, asparagus, basil, and an extra drizzle of olive oil at the end. I also love it with sautéed mushrooms and a dusting of Parmesan on top, or with garlicky sautéed spinach and a touch of feta cheese. But you don’t have to listen to me, combine some of your favorites and create a new masterpiece. Enjoy! ~~LbR