Friends of ours, Liz and Daniel, recently had a baby. She is darling, and perfect, and oh-so-tiny. When you haven’t seen a newborn for a while you forget just how little they are. In typical Columbia City fashion the neighborhood has circled around them to provide support in the way of dog walking, plant watering, and, you guessed it, food delivery.
Since I’ve got two of my own dogs to walk, and have been known to kill weeds, I signed up for option 3.
Liz and Daniel are both vegetarians, so this dish required a bit more thought, as I am an unabashed meat-eater. I wanted to create something that would travel well, require zero effort on their part, and provide enough for a few meals. Quinoa is my current magical grain of choice, but with summer having finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest, I wanted to dress things up a bit.
The result was a sort of Greek Inspired Caprese, tossed with quinoa. It was quite delicious (if I do say so myself), and even better the second day. This recipe can easily be halved or doubled, pending how many you’re cooking for and is a beautiful dish for a BBQ potluck.
Quinoa with Feta, Tomatoes, and Basil, tossed with a lemon vinaigrette
2 cups quinoa – rinsed
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 medium tomatoes
1 cup basil, lightly packed, and sliced into ¼ inch strips
1 1/2 cups feta
4 TB Olive Oil
3 TB Lemon Juice
Salt/Pepper to taste (go easy on this, because feta can be quite salty!)
- Add 1 TB olive oil to a heavy, lidded sauce pan and bring to medium heat. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring frequently, until slightly toasted. Add the stock and stir constantly, being careful not to get splattered. Bring the stock to a boil, stir once more, reduce to a low simmer, cover, and cook 20-25 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and leave lid on for 5 more minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork to allow to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl add the remaining 3 TB olive oil and 3 TB lemon juice and whisk to make the dressing.
- Dice the tomatoes and add to the mixing bowl. Allowing them to mingle with the dressing for a few minutes. Dice the feta and add to the tomato/dressing mixture. Tossing until evenly coated.
- Once the quinoa is slightly cooled, add to the serving bowl and toss with the feta, tomatoes, and dressing.
- Add the sliced basil just before serving and toss.