The oh-so beautiful and talented Domenica Catelli - founder, chef and patron of Catelli’s in Geyserville, a little wine country town just north of San Francisco - introduced me to this recipe. It’s delicious and soothing in a soft, nutty, couscous-esque way and couldn’t be easier to prepare.






Skill level

Average: 2.8 (28 votes)


  • 350 g quinoa 
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
  • 1 medium onion, chopped 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 110 g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced 
  • 2 organic chicken breasts, cut into 5 mm pieces 
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock 
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 5 mm pieces 
  • 2 lemons, juiced 
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds 
  • small bunch fresh coriander leaves, ripped into shreds

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Toast the quinoa in a dry pan (see note), then rinse it under running water and drain.

Heat the oil in a medium pan, then add the onion and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the shiitake mushroom and cook for a few minutes more.

Add the quinoa and the chicken, season with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper, and add the stock. Bring to the boil, cover the pan, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, until the ingredients are well combined and the chicken is cooked through.

Remove the lid, and add the zucchini, lemon juice, sesame seeds and three-quarters of the coriander. Turn off the heat underneath the pan, replace the lid on top and leave for 2 minutes more.

Finish with the remaining coriander and a drizzle of good olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.


• Toasting the quinoa in a dry pan brings more depth to the flavour.

Recipe from Around the World in 80 Dishes by David Loftus, with photographs by David Loftus. Published by Atlantic Books.