Quinoa with Roasted Poblanos, Cilantro, and Lime

Mitchell Davis

James Beard Foundation, NYC

“Quinoa is a tiny, ancient Aztec grain that’s so rich in protein and other good things for you that some health gurus have called it a super grain," wrote Mitchell Davis in Kitchen Sense. "Regardless of its salubrious effects, I think it is delicious. Perhaps because of the high protein content, the tiny grains have a pleasantly chewy texture that is both substantial and light. Quinoa should be rinsed once or twice with cold water before using.”


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or water
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lime, zest cut with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 large poblano peppers or other mild chiles or bell peppers, roasted, seeded, and diced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Place the quinoa in a mesh sieve and rinse once or twice with cold running water. Set aside to drain.

In a medium saucepan, combine the stock, bay leaf, and salt. Add 2 or 3 strips of lime zest and the juice of the lime. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat, and keep simmering for 5 to 10 minutes.

In a medium saucepan or large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking 2 or 3 minutes, just until the garlic is soft. Add the quinoa and stir to coat with the fat. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until the quinoa begins to toast. Add the cumin and cook for a minute more. Strain the simmering stock mixture into the quinoa, stir, and bring to a boil. With a rubber spatula, scrape any stray quinoa off the sides of the pot. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan, and cook for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed or evaporated and the quinoa is cooked. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the roasted peppers, cilantro, and a generous amount of black pepper.


Makes 4 1/2 cups, enough for 4 to 6 servings