April 1, 2010

SAVING THE SEDER:

Quinoa: a welcome new guest at the Passover table these days (SUSAN SCHWARTZ, 3/24/10, The Montreal Gazette)

As food writer Adeena Sussman put it in 2008 in the now-shuttered Gourmet magazine: "Like the new kid in town rolling up in a shiny convertible, this grain-that's-not-a-grain is becoming the belle of the Passover ball."

During the past few years, quinoa has become increasingly popular; it has become so mainstream - as food scientist and kosher food specialist Arlene Mathes-Scharf observed recently on kashrut.com, an online information source about kosher food - that Susie Fishbein, author of the ├╝ber-popular Kosher by Design series of books published by ArtScroll, included quinoa recipes in her bestselling 2008 cookbook, Passover by Design (see recipes above).

For the growing number of Jews eating quinoa at Passover meals, there is the benefit of a food that is incredibly healthy, loaded with fibre and essential amino acids and one of the best, most complete vegetarian sources of protein available.

It cooks quickly, and quinoa salads and pilafs are simple to prepare. Quinoa has a fluffy consistency and a mild, delicate, slightly nutty flavour. Dry-roasting it in a pan or in the oven before cooking imparts a subtle toasted flavour.

Quinoa is delicious all year round, but it has found its way into the Passover kitchens of many observant Jews since the Orthodox kosher-certifying agency Star-K published an article some years back explaining that quinoa, which until then had been an obscure food found mostly in health-food stores and presumed to be a grain, is in fact not a grain - and is not related to the five types of grain that can become hametz.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 1, 2010 5:29 AM
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