Saturday, September 5, 2009

Tomato Quinoa Salad and Roasted Portobello

This meal was eaten a while back, but it wasn't until today that I found time to post about this wonderful dish (this is what happens when the full moon wakes you up at 4 AM). I discovered quinoa more than 10 years ago, when I had it for lunch in Washington D.C. when I was there for a biochemistry conference. I immediately fell in love with this grain and have been making salads with it since then. Quinoa, or Chenopodium quinoa, is a super food, rich in proteins, easy to digest, and very versatile. This plant belongs to the Amaranthaceae family, and is not quite a grain or a cereal, but a relative of plants like beets and spinach, and has been cultivated for thousands of years by the Incas. It comes in three colors, light brown, deep red, and black. Béa, the talented author of La Tartine Gourmande, wrote recently about this wonderful grain, including photos of her trip to Peru. I especially like quinoa paired with tomatoes, they balance each other very well. This time though, I used oven roasted tomatoes to increase the flavor, added avocado and purple basil. I served the quinoa salad with an oven roasted portobello mushroom on a layer of wild arugula, a great combination indeed.

Roasted Tomato Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups cold water
2 pints cherry tomatoes, or any other type of small tomatoes.
EVOO
one shallots, chopped fine
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
fresh basil, julienned

Cut the tomatoes in half and roast them in a 375F oven until cooked through and they begin to dry, set aside to cool. Cook the quinoa until it is soft, fluffy, and the little outer ring releases. Drain and cool completely. Cut the avocado in cubes, add it to the quinoa, together with the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste.




3 comments:

Simona said...

A very nice salad. I like quinoa a lot as well. And it is quite versatile.

enza said...

leggendo il titolo pensavo che portobello fosse un pappagallo! uaaaaa
e poi finalmente ho capito che vuol dire aragula (che per me era un pesce tipo sgombro)
uaaaaaa
ehi ci sono sono solo mezza svampita dal caldo.
un bacio

Jill said...

This salad is beautiful and looks delicious. I haven't had quinoa in awhile--I think it's time to bring it back to the menu. :)

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