YIELD: 6 servings
½ cup shelled, roasted, salted pistachios
2 Tbsps. olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped or ¼ small red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ cups pre-rinsed quinoa
2 ¼ cups water
1 tsp. kosher or fine sea salt
1 ½ cups fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
1. Heat a sauce pot or deep skillet with a lid over medium heat, add the pistachios and toast for about 4 minutes or until fragrant. Put the nuts into the bowl of a food processor and let cool.
2. Return the pan to heat, add the olive oil and shallot or onion. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the shallot or onion starts to soften. Add the garlic and toast the quinoa for about 3 minutes. You want the quinoa to light-toast but you do not want the garlic to brown. Add the water and salt and increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once the water starts to boil, cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
3. Pulse the pistachios in food processor until they are roughly chopped. Add the mint and pulse several times until the mint is finely chopped. Stir the mint and pistachios into the quinoa as you fluff it with a fork.