September 27, 2009

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Quinoa Salad

I don't know about you, but I get stressed when I have fresh produce in the fridge that I haven't found the time to cook. I hate spending money on fruit and veg and then having to throw it out if I don't cook it fast enough. Today, I woke up feeling anxious because I had a huge amount of cilantro and a handful of cherry tomatoes that had gone unused and were threatening to go bad.

I made a delicious quinoa tabouli last week, and thought I might try a riff on that success by roasting my cherry tomatoes and adding some manzanilla olives (unstuffed...$1.99 per can at Whole Foods) to the mix. It turned out quite well, although I nearly set off the smoke detector while roasting the cherry tomatoes.

Roasted Cherry Tomato and Quinoa Salad
  • 20-30 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup chopped manzanilla olives
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cilantro, chopped
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, cover your cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put in the oven to roast for about 10 minutes, or until collapsed. Start your quinoa (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water) on the stove over high heat, reducing to a simmer when it reaches a boil. Cook 10-15 minutes, until water is absorbed.

2. Once the cherry tomatoes and quinoa are finished, allow both some time to cool. Once cool, add the cilantro, lemon juice, and chopped olives to the quinoa. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Gently, stir in the roasted cherry tomatoes. Some skins may come off--no matter. They'll taste just as good even if they aren't attached to their tomatoes. Serve chilled or at room temperature--either way is delicious!

This salad worked great as its own meal for lunch today, but would work equally well as a side dish for dinner. The best part? Quinoa is one of the healthiest grains you can eat, and I've saved my tomatoes and cilantro from ending up in the trash!

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