Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Quinoa Caprese Salad

I am always trying to come up with quick dishes to add to the dinner meal besides potato, rice, pasta. I love quinoa for many reasons, one of which is that it is quick cooking. What to add with it to give it some flavor though can be a dilemma. Tonight I tried cooking quinoa in the rice cooker while I went for a run after work. Success! I came back to find the cooker in warming mode and the quinoa cooked perfectly. I threw some cherry tomatoes into the cooker with the quinoa while it was still hot so they would cook slightly. Summer tomatoes always belong with fresh basil, olive oil and mozzarella cheese in my opinion, so a quinoa caprese salad was born. It was a great side dish to some broiled salmon and will be a delicious lunch tomorrow. Enjoy!

Quinoa Caprese Salad
Serves 4 as a side dish

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, finely diced
handful of fresh basil, cut into ribbons
2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small pieces

1. Add quinoa and broth to the bowl of a rice cooker and cook on the "white rice" setting.  Alternately, add quinoa and broth to a medium pot. Cover, bring to a boil and then decrease heat to low and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes or until broth is absorbed.
2. Once quinoa is cooked, add cherry tomatoes and cover to allow tomatoes to cook and become soft.
3. Drizzle quinoa with olive oil and add garlic, basil and mozzarella. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Can be served warm or cold.

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