Confession: I've never cooked quinoa. But neither did former Food Networker Dave Lieberman until he starting working on his newest book, The 10 Things You Need to Eat -- so I don't feel so bad.
The book, co-written with Lieberman's roommate/New York Times reporter Anahad O'Connor (and profiled in today's Food pages), doesn't break new ground. We know we should be eating greens and fish and tomatoes and berries. But what the book does really well is lay out in laymen's terms why, out of all the supposed superfoods out there, we should be eating more of these 10, and then offer recipes that simply sound good and actually work. To me, that's a good cookbook.
Lieberman did make a quinoa discovery during the recipe testing phase. He found that following directions on the box -- a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water -- produced a soggy grain every time, which explains why he initially balked at the stuff. One part quinoa to 1 1/4 parts water, however, proved to be the magic ratio, he says.
While we're on the subject, the Atlantic has the first in a two-part piece on quinoa's history as a "cursed crop." It'll make you appreciate this ancient food.