Amounts given here are for four people, but easy to adapt for two, or one. It is a very basic, tasty quinoa and fennel stew, suitable for any kind of supper, formal or informal. I like it this way because it preserves the fresh taste of the main ingredients. But if you wish, you could begin with onions, leeks, and garlic, and add other vegetables to the stew; mushrooms especially, I think, or perhaps parsnips, turnips or swede (in largish pieces to match the carrots).
Quinoa, 110 g (4oz). Rinse in a fine sieve under cold running water. Put in saucepan. Cover with 300ml (or just over ½ pint) of cold water. Bring to boiling point. Reduce to a low heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, cover the quinoa and leave it to absorb all the liquid. It is then cooked. Use as much of the quinoa as you need for this dish ( I would suggest roughly half) and keep the rest for another occasion.
Fennel, two medium sized globes, trimmed top and bottom, and cut into thick slices
Carrots, as fresh as possible. Three or four, scrapped or just brushed, and cut into largish pieces
Parsley fresh, a generous bunch, chopped, keeping the chopped stalks and leaves separate
Fennel seeds, half a level teaspoon, crushed in pestle and mortar
Salt and pepper
Using a deep frying pan, fry the fennel gently in fat or oil until it begins to soften. Stir in the fennel seeds and the parsley stalks. Add the carrots and continue frying for a couple of minutes. Cover with stock, add salt (very little, if any) and pepper to taste.
Simmer the vegetables until they are nearly cooked, about 10 minutes. Then gradually stir in the quinoa, and cook for a further two or three minutes, adjusting the quantities of quinoa and liquid to reach the consistency you want. Tip into a serving dish and garnish with the parsley leaves.
Serve with new, mashed, or roast potatoes and green vegetables (peas, beans, spinach, cauliflower, or broccoli).