It seems like a good idea when life is so busy to try and plan ahead a little for meals or, at the least, to make ingredients that I am cooking do a bit of multi tasking other than just as leftovers. With this in mind, I cooked up a nice big pot of quinoa and put it to work firstly in a summery fresh salad with basil, tomatoes, parmesan and quinoa crisps. Next time, for a complete change of flavours, I used it for some Asian inspired fish cakes (post for this to follow shortly!)
Remember, quinoa is a food like rice that has a high water content, therefore it is a great breeding ground for bacteria. If you have cooked up a big pot and can’t use it within a couple of days, put it in the freezer until you are ready to use it.
This salad is delicious on its own, for a light lunch, with some crusty bread or with some simply grilled meat or chicken. The components keep well although, if made in advance, you might want to freshen up the crisps briefly in the oven.
- 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 punnets or approx. 6 tasty summer tomatoes
- 1/2 cup (40g) finely grated parmesan cheese
- handful fresh basil
- few cloves fresh garlic
- mixed lettuce leaves for four people
- lemon oil
- balsamic vinegar
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Oven at 150′ C
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half (save a small handful raw for the final salad), place on a lined baking tray (for larger tomatoes, cut in chunks and follow the recipe), drizzle with a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and put in the oven to bake. This will take approximately 1/2 to 3/4 of an hour.
When they are nearly finished (looking nicely wilted and reduced) toss one cup of quinoa in a bowl with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on a seperate lined baking tray and cook for the final 15 minutes of the roasting tomatoes cooking time.
Next, peel and finely slice garlic cloves, toss with oil and add to tomatoes. Then, take most of your basil leaves (leave a few to put through salad greens) and coat with oil and add to the tomato tray for the last few minutes.
Watch the garlic and the basil as it is easy to burn them (but the tomatoes on the other hand will taste delicious regardless, give or take 5-10 minutes.)
Turn your oven up to 200’C for Parmesan Quinoa Wafers
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- cracked black pepper
Mix all together in a bowl and place tablespoonfuls on a lined baking tray. Bake 5-7 minutes or until golden and allow to cool on the tray.
Leave all ingredients to cool to room temperature (you don’t want them wilting your salad greens)
Assemble all ingredients together in the salad bowl you intend to serve the salad in, starting with a about 2/3 of your salad greens and basil, then the first half of your wafers, tomatoes,garlic basil leaves and roast quinoa. Top with the rest of your salad greens and ingredients. Sprinkle generously with lemon oil and balsamic vinegar when you are ready to serve