|Vegan: Eggplant & Herbed Quinoa|
A few of my friends are loyal Sprouted Kitchen followers, so naturally, I adopted them too as a great go to food blog for all things wholesome and scrumptious. I was quite thrilled...ok probably more surprised when I tasted this medley of herbed quinoa. The ingredients seemed kind of random while I was preparing it, dill, cilantro, basil, capers...etc. All of these herbs and the capers have very distinct flavors so I was a tad skeptical that some of the flavors may be a bit overpowering, but I was wrong! You can see the post at Sprouted Kitchen here.
The first time I made this dish I did the eggplant as suggested, and it was wonderful, but as of lately I’m a bit burnt out on the aubergine vegetable. So I opted to use portabello mushrooms and zucchini, and it worked just as well.
So here are the deets!
|Dill, tri-color quinoa, red onion, pine nuts and capers|
EGGPLANT & HERBED QUINOA
- 3-4 medium eggplants (maybe 2 larger ones, 4 smaller ones)
- sea salt
- extra virgin olive oil
- za'atar seasoning
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- half of a small red onion, sliced thin
- generous handful each of fresh basil, dill and cilantro
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. honey or agave nectar
- 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
2 Tbsp. capers, roughly chopped
Cut the eggplants into 1 1/2'' rounds. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 30 minutes to release water.
Add the quinoa to a pot with a pinch of salt and 3/4 cup water or stock. Bring it to a gentle boil, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, fluff with a fork, cover again and leave it to steam another 5 minutes.
Heat up your grill or grill pan. Press the eggplants between a dishcloth or paper towels to absorb the excess moisture. Brush both sides with olive oil and grill for about 5 minutes per sides until you get nice dark marks and the texture seems pretty soft throughout. I like the softer texture that comes with covering them. Remove to a plate, drizzle a bit more olive oil and sprinkle with za'atar to taste.
To finish the quinoa, toss in the onions, all of the herbs, oil, vinegar, honey or agave and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to mix. Taste and adjust as you like.
Put the eggplants on a plate, top with the quinoa and garnish with the toasted pinenuts.
***NOTE: A few things I changed. So I've never heard of the seasoning za'atar, and the person at my local market had never heard of it, so I abandoned that seasoning. If you have heard of it please leave a message below because I'd like to know where I can find it. But wait it's probably at Whole Foods! Also the first time I made this I did coat each eggplant piece with olive oil. But the second go round I opted to just put some olive oil in the pan, and let the mushroom coat themselves, again I am a lazy vegan. I also thought I'd try it this time with portabello mushrooms and zucchini. So instead of the 2-3 eggplants I used 2 portabello mushrooms sliced, and 1 zucchini sliced into spears.