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Harvest Monday: The Quinoa Saga

July 9, 2012

If you missed my April post on Growing Quinoa, you may want to start there. Regular readers of my blog know that for me, gardening is about experimentation. I like quinoa, the seed pack was alluring and I devoted only about 10 square feet of the garden to this experimental crop.

I did wonder how quinoa, grown in the high altitude of the Andes would do thirty feet above sea level and 500 feet from the Pacific Ocean. 

I found quinoa was easy to grow, didn’t require much water and was a colorful addition to the winter garden. It’s a cool season crop in coastal southern California. Only later did I learn the leaves of the quinoa plant are edible and like amaranth.

Last night, I finally had quinoa ready to cook. My penchant for researching things to death, a busy work schedule and general procrastination delayed the feast. I hope to post tomorrow on the process of getting from the image above to the image below. Quinoa is not for the impatient person.

Here’s a close-up of the prepared quinoa. 

My son, Andy and girlfriend Sarah came to help me prepare the long awaited meal. Sarah took charge of the chard mixture with our favorite ingredients: onions, garlic, olive oil, fresh herbs (thyme and rosemary) and lemon zest. White wine would have been nice had we thought of it. Served, we added avocado and shaved parmesan.

The meal was quite wonderful. Earlier in the afternoon I made lavender lemonade from my friend Betsy’s lavender and lemons from another friend. For dessert we had a summer fruit crisp made with marionberries, rhubarb, apples and apricots, all from the garden. Look for a post with the lemonade and dessert recipes on Thursday’s Kitchen Cupboard.

Check back tomorrow for details on the harvest, drying, winnowing, threshing and washing of quinoa.

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne’s Dandelions. It’s a time to share what you’re harvesting in your garden or how you’re using it.

Quinoa, the rest of the story...Part 1, Nutrition