Quinoa is one of Peru’s staple foods and is as healthy as it is versatile. Quinoa can be used as a substitute for rice and its texture will change when sautéed or fried. In this recipe I have used white quinoa, but you can use any variety. If available garnish with borage flowers, but feel free to use other edible flowers or your favourite seasonal herbs.






Skill level

Average: 4 (5 votes)


  • 240 g white quinoa
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g baby onions, peeled but left whole
  • 100 g trimmed purple kohlrabi, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 20 g capers
  • 1 cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • handful of coriander and flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • handful of borage flowers and young herbs, to garnish

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.


Rinse the quinoa in cold running water until the water runs clear, then drain.

Place the quinoa in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and add water to cover by 5 cm. Cover with the lid and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Stir, re-cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes – the quinoa is ready when you can see a little ring on the outside of the grain and it is soft. Rinse in cold water, then drain well.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté pan and sauté the quinoa for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Heat another 1 tablespoon olive oil in a separate pan and sauté the onions until golden. Add the kohlrabi and capers.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the first pan and sauté the grated ginger for 20 seconds. Add the sautéed quinoa and vegetables, and season with salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the chopped herbs. Serve garnished with the borage flowers and young herbs.


Recipe from Lima: The Cookbook by Virgilio Martinez, with photography by Erik Andia Pomar and The Graztronome (Hachette Australia. Hardback RRP $39.99).


View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.