Sunday, 2 October 2011

Quinoa with roasted romas, shallots and basil puree

I was ecstatic to see rows upon rows of colourful tomato varieties at the farmers market this morning. I am not looking forward to the day when they disappear for the cold fall and winter months. As I mentioned in my last post, I want to stick to cooking with seasonal food items as much as possible. I figure the easiest way to stick to this plan is to see what is plentiful at the farmers market and plan my cooking around those items. I warned Mike this morning that this was going to be a long winter filled with squash-based meals.

I loaded up on tomatoes this morning at the market, as well as grabbed a mountainous bag of basil and a few plump shallots. I turned these three simple items into a delicious quinoa dish that I already cannot wait to make again.

Quinoa with oven roasted romas, shallots and a basil puree

4 roma tomatoes, sliced in half
sea salt
1 cup or more basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Lemon, juiced
1 Lg garlic clove
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 large shallot or 1 small
2 tsp honey (agave or maple syrup for vegans)

1 - Preheat oven to 250 F. Toss roma tomato halves with a tablespoon of olive oil, a dash of sea salt and a few sliced basil leaves. Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 2 hours. My tomatoes were still quite juicy when I pulled them out of the oven.  See picture below.
2 - Roast garlic in the oven while tomatoes are also roasting. Leave in skin, and wrap in tinfoil.
3 - Bring a pot of water to a boil, add quinoa and boil until desired softness (10 - 15 minutes). Drain well.
4 - For the basil drizzle, process 1 cup of basil leaves with 1 - 2 tbsp EVOO, juice of 1/2 lemon, a pinch of salt and 1 - 2 tsp honey, in food processor. See picture below.
5 - Heat 1 tbsp EVOO in a pan on medium low heat. Add sliced shallots and cook until soft and lightly browned (about 10 - 15 minutes). See picture below.
6 - Toss quinoa in a bowl with a squirt of lemon juice. Stir in shallots. Use a garlic press to squish garlic onto quinoa (it should be soft and oozy). Using scissors, cut roma tomato halves over quinoa. Mine were very juicy still, the juice adds a nice flavour to the quinoa. Serve quinoa with a tbsp or so of the basil drizzle.

Quinoa and caramelized shallots
Romas and basil
Roasted garlic and romas
Chopped roasted romas and quinoa
Basil puree

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