Thursday, August 30, 2012

Late Summer Quinoa

It's that time of year when we have more tomatoes, corn and zucchini than we know what to do with.  We got 8 ears of corn and several pounds of tomatoes in our CSA pickup last week, so our meals have been all about corn, tomatoes, corn and tomatoes. 

On Saturday we made homemade pizza (using this dough) and topped it with fresh tomato sauce, mozzarella, corn and basil.  I really liked the addition of the corn on pizza, but I would recommend leaving the basil off until after baking because ours got kind of toasted. We were at the beach, so we used cookie trays instead of the pizza stone for baking, and we could totally tell the difference in crust crispiness.  Pizza stones are well worth the investment.  Also, taking crappy pictures with the flash in bad lighting doesn't do it any favors, but I wanted to give you an idea of what it looked like.

Sunday night we had burgers, topped with tomatoes, and grilled corn on the cob.  I asked Jon to grill all the corn because I think it's better that way, and then it would be all ready to use for the quinoa and chowder later in the week. 

Quinoa lends itself to pretty much any addition.  Bring two cups of liquid to a boil, add one cup of quinoa, simmer for 15 minutes and you can throw anything into it and call it dinner.  Or lunch.  Or breakfast.  In this batch, I cooked the quinoa in vegetable broth for extra flavor and added all the veggies I could dig out of the refrigerator.

Late Summer Quinoa

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1 cob of corn, kernels removed (I used grilled, but boiled or raw would work)
2 cups chickpeas (or one can, drained and rinsed)
1 yellow bell pepper
1/2 pint (about 10) cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups green beans, trimmed
2 small zucchini, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
dijon mustard
salt and pepper
Optional toppings: feta or goat cheese and parsley

Prepare quinoa.  Bring two cups of liquid to a boil.  Add one cup of quinoa.  Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 15-20 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a frying pan.
Add in chopped onion and zucchini cook for about 5-7 minutes, until softened. 
Add in chopped garlic and cook 1 minute more.
In a pot bring a few cups of water to a boil.
Cook the green beans for about 5-7 minutes, until slightly softened but still crispy (or however you like to eat green beans).
Remove beans and plunge into a bowl of ice water.  This will stop the cooking and keep them bright green.
In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, zucchini, onion, garlic, beans and remaining vegetables.
Prepare a simple vinaigrette.  Whisk together 1 teaspoon or so of dijon mustard with a few (3) tablespoons of vinegar.  Slowly add olive oil in a stream while whisking until emulsified.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour dressing over quinoa and top with goat/feta and parsley, if you like those things.  Serve warm, cold or at room temperature.


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