Mar 24
2010

Quinoa with Braised Fennel, Thyme, & Toasted Almonds Recipe

Quinoa with Braised Fennel, Thyme & Toasted Almonds Recipe

“What the heck is qui-noh-ah?” asked our house guest. First, let’s straighten out the pronunciation thing. Although it’s counterintuitive, this powerful little grain is actually pronounced “keen-wah”. We had to practice that a few times. After taking a taste of some cooked quinoa, our guest proceeded to eat it with his tamale order from the local Mexican restaurant and alongside scrambled eggs the next morning. This grain can reel you in like that. In my post on Quinoa with Caramelized Mushrooms, Soy Sauce & Ginger, I expounded upon the health benefits and nutty flavor of quinoa. (Check out my TV cooking segment for this recipe.) While that recipe had a distinctive Asian flair, this recipe combines the earthy flavors of fennel and thyme, and the crunch of toasted almonds. When braised, as in my Spicy Spaghetti with Fennel, Pancetta & Parmesan Cheese Recipe, the fennel imparts a mellow licorice flavor and delicate texture. However you choose to pronounce it, quinoa is a versatile grain that provides a neutral palate for a wide variety of herbs and spices.

Cut the fronds and peel the tough outer layer from a fennel bulb. Reserve the fronds. Cut the fennel bulb in half through the root and cut out the core. Thinly slice the fennel into half-moons.


Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan set over medium heat. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the sliced fennel to the pan and saute until the fennel starts to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth, and 3 sprigs fresh thyme to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes.


Stir in 1 cup quinoa.


Return to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the quinoa absorbs all of the liquid. Remove the thyme sprigs.

While the quinoa is cooking, pour 1/3 cup slivered almonds into a small skillet and set over medium heat.


Toast the almonds, stirring frequently, until the almonds are lightly toasted.

Stir the almonds into the quinoa, spoon into a serving dish, and garnish with fennel fronds. Serve immediately.


Other quinoa dishes:

Cookin’ Canuck’s Quinoa with Caramelized Mushrooms, Soy Sauce & Ginger
The Perfect Pantry’s Quinoa Salad with Tomato, Feta & Parsley
Cannelle et Vanille’s Meyer Lemon, Lime & Quinoa Pudding Cakes
Wasabimon’s Curried Quinoa Salad
FatFree Vegan Kitchen’s Pink Bean, Quinoa & Spinach Soup
Poor Girl Eats Well’s Cranberry Raisin Quinoa with Yogurt

Quinoa with Braised Fennel & Thyme

2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large fennel bulb, fronds reserved for garnish
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 cup quinoa
1/3 cup slivered almonds

Cut the fronds and peel the tough outer layer from a fennel bulb. Reserve the fronds. Cut the fennel bulb in half through the root and cut out the core. Thinly slice the fennel into half-moons.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan set over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the sliced fennel to the pan and saute until the fennel starts to soften, about 3 minutes. Add vegetable or chicken broth, and fresh thyme to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in quinoa, return to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the quinoa absorbs all of the liquid. Remove the thyme sprigs.

While the quinoa is cooking, pour slivered almonds into a small skillet and set over medium heat. Toast the almonds, stirring frequently, until the almonds are lightly toasted.

Stir the almonds into the quinoa, spoon into a serving dish, and garnish with fennel fronds. Serve immediately.

Serves 6 as a side dish.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brisbane Baker March 24, 2010 at 4:55 am

Ahahaha! So you mean I've been mispronouncing it too!?

I was told it was pronounced Qui-noh- ah by my ex celioac housemate.. Bet she was laughing at me on the inside, Shame on her :D

Although I have been saying it incorrectly, I really do love this grain and what a lovely way to serve it!

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2 pegasuslegend March 24, 2010 at 11:52 am

I can't wait to try this, I have to tell you have speaking with you went to the market couldnt find this anywhere what part of the market is it in, looked in rice, pasta and grain. Maybe we just don't carry it local. I love this recipe got to try this one as soon as I can find the Q, cant wait to see you post your interview on tv~ good luck :) thanks~

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3 Maria March 24, 2010 at 1:47 pm

You really are a star and so is this recipe:)

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4 Claudia March 24, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I love quinoa and use it a lot. This is another grand use for it – looks delicious.

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5 Kalyn March 24, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Sounds great! I am vowing to cook with quinoa a lot more.

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6 Karina Allrich March 24, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Quinoa is my favorite gluten-free grain. I love the idea of adding fennel! Looks delicious.

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7 Mel- GourmetFury.com March 24, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Oh yum! I can eat quinoa every day. So clean and comforting. Awesome recipe!

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8 Fuji Mama March 24, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Love all things quinoa!! And I love fennel…GREAT combo!

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9 Bob March 24, 2010 at 7:03 pm

I still need to try quinoa. Now I'm glad I haven't been asking people about it though since I've been pronouncing it wrong the whole time. :D

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10 Stella March 24, 2010 at 8:27 pm

What a delicious and super healthful side dish. I have some organic quinoa-I just might follow your recipe to the best of my pantry's ability tonight (smile)!

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11 Gera @ SweetsFoodsBlog March 24, 2010 at 8:52 pm

Quinoa and almonds so yummy for the tummy! Quinoa now is trendy for its wonderful proprieties :)

Have a great week,

Gera

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12 Cookin' Canuck March 24, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Thanks for all of your comments. If you haven't tried quinoa yet, do it soon. You will be hooked.

Claudia (PegasusLegend) – We are able to find it at our local grocery store in the couscous/rice section. It is often sold in healthy food stores in packages or in bulk. For example, Whole Foods carries it in the bulk food section.

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13 Darina March 25, 2010 at 12:13 am

Love quinoa! Never seem to know what to do with it, even though it's kind of a blank canvas. Thanks for posting this recipe. I bet it's delicious.

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14 redkathy March 25, 2010 at 5:06 am

I have yet to try the keen-wah! If it wasn't for the foodies I would have never gotten the pronunciation! They do carry it here at Publix, I'm just south of Claudia. It is in the specialty display near the rices.

I watched your TV spot, how exciting! This recipe sounds wonderful. I simply must try this very soon.

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15 Divina Pe March 25, 2010 at 8:39 am

Great combination of flavors of this quinoa dish. I would love to more of this grain but they're just too expensive.

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16 denise, the prime magpie March 25, 2010 at 9:49 am

Quinoa is surely on everyone's mind — several recipes out there cheering on its health and flavor benefits. I love it!! What a great and versatile grain to work with!

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17 5 Star Foodie March 25, 2010 at 4:35 pm

The combination of quinoa with braised fennel and almonds sounds fantastic!

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18 Chitra March 25, 2010 at 7:16 pm

yum always looking for some quinoa recipes and with fennel that sounds delicious!

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19 * Nancy * March 25, 2010 at 11:41 pm

I've never tried quinoa, but I think I am going to try the recipe you shared on Studio 5…I am new to your blog thanks to them! :)

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20 * Nancy * March 25, 2010 at 11:41 pm

I've never tried quinoa, but I think I am going to try the recipe you shared on Studio 5…I am new to your blog thanks to them! :)

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21 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) March 26, 2010 at 2:13 am

Quinoa is so delightfully all-purpose. Neutral flavor that absorbs whatever is around it. Like tofu, but better tasting! This recipe is going in my bookmarks.

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22 E March 30, 2010 at 9:03 pm

This quinoa dish looks lovely…. adding braised fennel and almonds is inspired.
Thanks for sharing!!

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23 Jodi Reed (Chloe's Tray) November 18, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Made this last night. It was awesome! Thanks for the great recipe!

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24 Dara (Cookin' Canuck) November 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm

I’m so glad, Jodi! I haven’t made that recipe for ages, but love it. Thanks for the reminder.

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