This deeply flavored dish has been on the menu for 22 years at Jimtown Store in Healdsburg, Calif. Takoma Park resident Robin Mize makes the chili gluten-free by using quinoa instead of the medium or coarse bulgur called for in the original recipe.
You can tell at a glance: It's a long ingredient list. But the preparation is easy. The recipe uses a lot of chili powder, so be sure to choose a mild variety.
Make Ahead: The quinoa needs to soak for 30 minutes. The chili can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Servings: 8 - 10
- 3/4 cup dried quinoa
- 1 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 4 medium yellow onions, finely chopped (4 cups)
- 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup mild red chili powder (not a blend)
- 3 tablespoons ground cumin, preferably freshly ground
- 3 tablespoons dried mexican oregano, crumbled
- 1 1/2 tablespoons dried thyme, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 28 ounces canned Italian-style plum tomatoes, with their juices
- 3/4 cup water
- 3 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth
- Kosher or sea salt
- 2 large red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded then cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 8 ounces fresh green beans (trimmed), cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces
- 2 cups fresh or frozen/defrosted corn kernels (from 2 ears)
- 15 ounces canned no-salt-added dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 ounces canned no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 small zucchini, coarsely shredded, for garnish
- 3 medium tomatoes, hulled, seeded and coarsely chopped, for garnish
- 6 to 7 scallions (white and light-green parts), cut into thin slices, for garnish
- Sour cream, for serving (optional)
Combine the quinoa and orange juice in a medium bowl; let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, stirring to coat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until softened and lightly colored.
Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper and cinnamon; cook for 5 minutes, stirring often so the spices do not scorch.
Add the tomatoes and their juices, breaking up the fruit with your fingers as you work. Stir in the water, broth and 1 tablespoon of the salt; increase the heat to medium-high and bring just to a boil, skimming any foam from the surface. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover partially and cook for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Add the red bell peppers and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened.
Meanwhile, fill a mixing bowl with ice and cold water. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add a generous pinch of salt and the green beans; cook for about 5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain the beans and place them in the ice-water bath until thoroughly cooled, then drain.
Stir the quinoa with its orange juice into the onion-tomato mixture; cook for about 25 minutes, during which time the mixture will thicken. Stir in the cooked green beans, corn, kidney beans and chickpeas; when they have warmed through, taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Divide among individual bowls. Top with the zucchini, tomatoes, scallions and a dollop of sour cream, if desired. Serve hot.
Adapted from "The Jimtown Store Cookbook: Recipes From Sonoma County's Favorite Country Market," by Carrie Brown and John Werner with Michael McLaughlin (HarperCollins, 2002).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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