We went to brunch yesterday at a local diner and hubs was considering ordering a veggie omelet. I informed him I'd be making the above for dinner, so he opted for a burger. Can't overload a meat and potatoes guy with veggies now can we?
But, long story short, he ended up loving this recipe I found on Pinterest. And I'm definitely adding it to my recipe Rolodex. It was my first successful recipe using quinoa - last time, was not so good. I actually cooked the veggies on a baking tray on top of the grill. That veggie griller thingie I never used and donated to Goodwill would have come in handy, but I improvised.
Here's the recipe, from Veggie Belly:
Balsamic Grilled Summer Vegetables (Eggplant, Zucchini, Tomato, Red Onion), Pearlini Mozzarella and Basil Quinoa Salad Recipeserves about 3. (you will have as much grilled vegetables as quinoa).
for balsamic dressing
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic minced
salt and pepper
for grilled summer vegetables (I used peppers, tomatoes, asparagus and mushrooms)
1 small italian eggplant (about 2 cups when cut into big cubes)
1 small zucchini (about 2 cups when cut into big cubes)
1/2 small red onion (1/4 of a large red onion)
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped
for basil quinoa salad
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup basil leaves loosely packed, chopped (I forgot to buy basil)
1/2 cup pearlini mozzarella balls, or bocconcini mozzarella balls, tossed in a little salt and pepper
Whisk together all the balsamic dressing ingredients and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, boil water for the quinoa salad. Add quinoa and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer covered, till all the water has been completely absorbed, about 20 minutes.
While quinoa is cooking, cut veggies into cubes. Cut the red onion into rings. Place cubed eggplant, zucchini, red onion, tomatoes and thyme leaves in a bowl. Pour half the balsamic dressing over the vegetables and toss well.
Brush grill grates with olive oil or non-stick spray. Heat grill to medium-high. Grill the vegetables about 3 minutes on one side or till grill marks appear, about 3 minutes. Flip them over and grill other side till vegetables are tender but still a bit firm. Tomatoes will cook quicker, remove them from the grill as soon as they start to blister.
Reserve the balsamic dressing that remains in the bowl, to serve with the meal.
If you dont have a grill, broil the vegetables in the top rack of an oven, till one side is golden. Flip and broil other side.When the quinoa finishes cooking, toss it with the second half of the balsamic dressing. Stir in chopped basil, salt and pepper. Spread quinoa on a platter or bowl. Arrange the grilled summer vegetables and mozzarella around the quinoa. Serve warm with the reserved balsamic dressing on the side.