Quinoa is gaining popularity as a substitute for wheat and rice during Passover. It's fluffy, pearled texture means it behaves just like a grain, even though it's not, making it a kosher alternative perfect for all kinds of side dishes.
It really does look like a grain, that quinoa. So what is it, exactly? What we eat are actually the seeds of a leafy green plant similar to chard or spinach.
While a lot of Jewish cooks are incorporating quinoa into their Passover menus, there is some disagreement over its acceptability as kosher. Some Orthodox rabbis have said it should be viewed in the same way as legumes and corn and be avoided.
This article covers some of the back and forth:
• Quinoa: Perfect for Passover, from the Associated Press (via the Memphis Commercial Appeal)
The beauty of quinoa is that is really lends itself to any type of dish. It's great cold, tossed with crunchy vegetables and a vinaigrette, or served hot, like a rice pilaf. We love quinoa around here, and our vegetarian contributor Emily has offered a few recipes and tips.
We also loved the look of the dish above, from Bon Appétit:
• Quinoa with Grilled Zucchini, Garbanzo Beans, and Cumin
Is anyone cooking quinoa for Passover?
Related: Look! Passover Desserts from Gourmet
(Image: Brigitte Sire for Bon Appétit)