This recipe was inspired by a brunch dish from the menu at Sitka & Spruce café in Seattle. I’m not a fan of fresh pineapple, but when lightly caramelised and paired with crunchy nuts and quinoa it becomes an entirely different beast.
¼ cup quinoa, red or black
1/3 cup brown sugar
½ cup orange juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, cut lengthwise into 8 wedges
1½ cups thick plain yoghurt
½ cup roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
8 fresh dates, pitted and roughly chopped
fresh mint leaves
Put the quinoa in a dry sauté pan over a medium-low heat and cook for 1-2 minutes, shaking the pan, until it pops and smells nutty. Immediately tip onto a plate and cool.
Pineapple: Put the sugar, juice and honey in a sauté pan large enough to hold the pineapple in a single layer. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the pineapple and cook over a medium high heat for 4 minutes each side until the pan juices have caramelised and the pineapple is tender but not falling apart. Set aside to cool.
To assemble: Spoon the yoghurt onto plates and place two pieces of pineapple on top. Scatter over the dates, nuts and quinoa then drizzle with the syrup from cooking the pineapple. Garnish with mint leaves.
Pantry note: Quinoa (pronounced ‘KEEN-wah’) is an ancient grain, native to the Americas, and has been dubbed a ‘supergrain’ as it’s considered a complete protein. When cooked it expands to four times its volume. With a delicate flavour it can be used in sweet and savoury dishes and eaten hot or cold. Available from good supermarkets, health food stores and specialty food stores.