- 6 ounces red or black quinoa (1 cup)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise into half-moons
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons small mint leaves
- Put the quinoa in a small saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water. Add a large pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Heat the 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet. Add the garlic and onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cumin, cover and cook over low heat until the carrots are just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the quinoa and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
- Light a grill. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and thread onto 4 skewers. Season with salt and pepper and grill over moderately high heat, turning, until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes total.
- Mound the quinoa salad on plates. Garnish with the toasted pine nuts and mint leaves and serve the chicken skewers alongside.
Spiced, black cherry–inflected Pinot Noir.