1. Measure and rinse quinoa. One cup of dried quinoa yields about 3 cups cooked. Measure out quinoa, place it in a fine-mesh strainer, rinse thoroughly with cool water, and drain. Rinsing removes quinoa’s natural coating, called saponin, which can make it taste bitter or soapy. Some cookbooks suggest soaking the quinoa but this is unnecessary.
2. Place quinoa in a small saucepan with liquid. Quinoa may be cooked in water or vegetable or meat stock. I use a 2:1 ratio – 2 cups liquid to 1 cup quinoa. Use a larger saucepan if you are cooking more than this basic amount.
3. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer over low heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. You should see tiny spirals (the germ) separating from and curling around the quinoa seeds (see image).
4. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve. Some people like to add olive oil, butter, salt, or pepper. Quinoa is also fantastic with lemon juice, caramelized onions, herbs or green onions.