Toasting the quinoa before cooking keeps the grains from clumping so they stay subtly crunchy.
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed several times with cold running water
- 2 cups boiling water
- 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2/3 cup dried tart cherries
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Pour in the boiling water, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until all the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let quinoa stand 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the mushrooms and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cherries and continue cooking until mushrooms are lightly browned, about 4 to 5 minutes longer. Add the peas and cook until bright green, 1 minute. Add the quinoa and remaining 1 tablespoon oil; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the green onions, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.