Quinoa with Tomatoes, Parmesan and Basil 

 Originally Written: September 14, 2010

By  Hanna Trafford

Last Updated on September 20, 2010 by Hanna Trafford

If you haven’t tried quinoa before, try this recipe – it combines the simple classic flavours with tender, quick cooking quinoa and it is likely to make you wonder why you don’t cook with it more often.

Quinoa is not a try grain, it is a seed although it is commonly referred to as an ancient grain, because it originates with Incas of ancient times.

If you have tasted quinoa before and were turned off by a bitter taste – try it again. There is a substance that naturally coats quinoa called saponin – that is what has that unfortunate bitter flavour.

But most quinoas sold today has been pre-rinsed and just to make sure, I definitely recommend rinsing again before cooking. You can serve this light side dish with steaks, veal, chicken, fish…. it goes with pretty much any main course!


  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese – grated
  • 1/4 cup of thinly chopped fresh basil
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese


  1. Rinse quinoa in a sieve under running water, stirring to make sure it is thoroughly rinsed.
  2. Drain well and set aside
  3. Heat oil in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid over medium heat.
  4. Add onion and saute for about 3 minutes or until starting to soften
  5. Add garlic, pinch of salt and about 1/;4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  6. Add stock and bring to boil, scrapping any bits stuck to the side of the pan
  7. Stir in quinoa and return to boil stirring occasionally
  8. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed
  9. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes

Hope you will enjoy trying this recipe – please send in your comments. suggestions and experiences, your input is always welcomed and much appreciated

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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