Serves 4, takes 30 mins
300g quinoa, soaked if time then drained and rinsed
2 tbsp butter/ ghee / oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp dried thyme/oregano or 4 tsp fresh thyme leaves
125ml white wine or add a few tbsp apple cider vinegar
1.5 litres good-quality chicken bone broth
400g baby spinach
3 large handfuls frozen peas
100g -150g Parmesan, plus extra to serve or cheddar
2 large handfuls of basil or flat-leaf parsley or a mix, leaves chopped and stems very finely chopped
grated zest and juice of ½ – 1 unwaxed lemon
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Heat the butter/ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat and gently fry the onion for 10 minutes, until softened, stirring from time to time.
Add the garlic and thyme for another minute with the herb stalks.
Add the drained quinoa to the pan, stir and leave for a minute until the quinoa is almost sticking. Add a big pinch of sea salt and pepper and the white wine/vinegar, turn up the heat and stir to deglaze the pan of all the juicy bits.
Pour in just over litre of the stock/broth, turn up the heat to bring to the boil then turn down to a medium simmer for about 14 minutes or about 18 minutes if you didn’t soak the quinoa and add more liquid if you need it. Meanwhile finely chop the spinach leaves and grate the parmesan.
Check on the quinoa, give it a taste, it should be tender. Stir through the frozen peas and chopped spinach, give it a minute, then turn off the heat. Add the last of the stock/broth if you think it needs it.
Add the parmesan, lemon juice, zest, and the herbs and give it a good stir. Then serve up with extra parmesan and a little more butter or olive oil if you like.