Cinco de Mayo

quinoa with pepitas

Tomorrow is Cinco de Mayo, the fifth of May. This holiday commemorates the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). It’s a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, and chances are that Crowley never celebrated it while he was there.

Still, in the United States Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations. Cinco de Mayo traditions include parades, mariachi music performances and street festivals. In celebration, here’s a delicious recipe that will make you want to party.

Quinoa With Pepitas and Cilantro

  •  1 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup red quinoa
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ jalapeño chile
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, chopped

quinoa with pepitasIn a 2-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid, bring the water to a boil. In a medium bowl, soak quinoa in cold water for about 5 minutes, then drain using a fine-mesh strainer. When the water boils, add the quinoa and bring it back to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. The water should all be absorbed, and small holes should have formed on the surface of the grain. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes to finish steaming.

In a large sauté pan over high heat, dry-toast the pumpkin seeds. Shaking the pan over the heat, toast the seeds until they begin to pop. Remove from heat and put into a food processor or blender. Add the cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, salt and cumin and process, frequently stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, until all the ingredients are well minced. Gradually add the olive oil and lime juice, processing until smooth.

Stir the cilantro mixture, bell pepper and green onions into the quinoa while still warm and serve.

From “The New Whole Grains Cookbook” by Robin Asbell.


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