Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Salad

27 01 2011
I used this dish as the grain and vegetable for an amazing meal I made for my friend’s birthday. Inspired by the chef I work with at Lola’s On Harrison in Hollywood, Florida, I topped this grain salad with Mahi Mahi. I rubbed the fish with a mixture of curry powder, cumin powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder and onion powder, and sea salt. Then I pan seared it and finished it off in the oven. I put the fish atop the quinoa and then put some roasted butternut squash and asparagus around the fish and drizzled some of the extra vinaigrette from the quinoa over the top. It was delicious. Thank you Michael for the inspiration.

5 tbsp olive oil

1 head garlic, unpeeled, top third cut off  to expose the cloves

1 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 4 slices

1 eggplant

2 cups quinoa (I used 1 1/2 cups of normal quinoa and 1/2 cup of wild black quinoa)

3 1/2 cups water

1 poblano chile, charred, peeled, seeded and diced

1 orange bell pepper, charred, peeled, seeded and diced

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

2 plum tomatoes, peeled and seeded, 1 diced

sea salt to taste

freshly ground black pepper to taste

juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar

several fresh basil leaves

several fresh rosemary leaves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put about 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a blender and set aside. Pour 2 tbsp olive oil in a roasting pan and rub the garlic and zucchini slices with the oil. Poke the eggplant all over with a fork and rub with the oil. Bake the eggplant, zucchini and garlic in the oven until the zucchini slices are tender (they may need to be removed first), the garlic is soft and the eggplant is very soft. They all may take different cooking times.

As the vegetables roast, cook the quinoa in water. Bring the water and some salt to a boil. Rinse the quinoa in a colander under running water. Then pour in the quinoa into the boiling water and cover. Turn down to a simmer and continue to cook for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to steam for another 5 minutes before removing the lid.

Place the warm quinoa in a bowl. Add the diced poblano, bell pepper, and the olives. Add the diced tomato.

Put the whole tomato in the blender with the oil. Squeeze in the cloves from the roasted garlic. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice, vinegar, basil and rosemary. Process until smooth.

Dice the zucchini. Peel the eggplant and dice. Add the zucchini and eggplant to the quinoa. Stir in enough dressing to coat the quinoa and give it a wonderful flavor. If there is extra dressing, save it to drizzle over other roasted vegetables or a piece of fish.

You may serve this quinoa warm or at room temperature. It is great the next day.


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