Today, I’m going to tell you a love story:
One day roasted eggplant met quinoa. And they lived happily ever after. The end.
Quinoa. The grain that everyone is telling you to eat, the grain that is so plain. However, when tossed with roasted eggplant, onion, tomato, basil and a tangy vinaigrette it’s practically paradise. Like sand between your toes. I think I need to get out of the sun. (It just so happens I’m on a beach right now. More on that later.)
Thankfully, the keyhole is still producing eggplant and basil, and I’m trying to use it while the getting is good.
If you’re just not into eggplant, zucchini or other squash works well, but know this: roasted eggplant and quinoa taste like they were M.F.E.O.
Made for each other. (Name that movie!)
Quinoa with Roasted Eggplant
Rinse quinoa in a sieve. Rinsing produces fluffier, less bitter results.
Place quinoa in a large saucepan, and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt and a large grated clove of garlic. I also like to toss in some sliced scallions. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, cut a large eggplant into cubes and toss on a cookie sheet with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Roast at 400˚ for 30 minutes or until tender.
Place eggplant in a large bowl along with a small diced red onion and a heaping cup of halved grape tomatoes. A half cup of halved kalamata olives are also a yummy addition.
Toss in some chopped rotisserie chicken for a main dish or omit for a side dish or vegetarian option.
Pour in 1 cup of your favorite vinaigrette. If I don’t have time for a homemade one, I use Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinegar and Oil.
Chiffonade a few large basil leaves and add them to the bowl.
Stir everything until well combined. Serve warm, room temperature or even cold.
This may look like one big bowl of chick food, but I can attest that it’s Mr. Smith approved. In fact, he will save it for very last on his plate, something he only does with his favorite part of the meal.
I’m telling ya, M.F.E.O.
How do you like to prepare quinoa?
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 1 large clove garlic, grated
- 1 large eggplant, cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 heaping cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup halved kalamata olives
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 cup cooked chicken, chopped
- 1/2 cup vinaigrette (such as Newman’s Own balsamic)
- Cut a large eggplant into cubes and toss on a cookie sheet with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a teaspoon of salt. Roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes until tender.
- Meanwhile, rinse quinoa and dump in a 3-quart saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon salt and garlic. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.
- Chop 1 cup rotisserie chicken and halve 1 heaping cup of grape tomatoes. Add to a large bowl along with the red onion and olives.
- Add the eggplant and quinoa to the bowl along with the vinaigrette and basil. Add more vinaigrette if desired. Stir well to combine and serve.