Tomatoes + Garlic +Quinoa + Spinach

1 Sep

Spinach + QuinoaToday was yet another eventful day – our mother left, and by the end of the day, we were all really tired. We needed a quick meal, but I wanted something delicious. Something that would be comforting and yet incredibly fresh. Nothing too heavy, but definitely delectable, lip smacking, delicious. I decided to lightly saute some garlic until it was soft, mix it with some burstingly fresh tomatoes, encourage the sweet sweet sauce with a lick of cream. Mix that up with some protein rich quinoa and fresh spinach. A meal that is a balm on the senses – pretty, delightful and happy making.

Because its summertime, the tomatoes are so luscious I cannot even begin to describe them. The smell of them is heady, almost perfume-y. Their juices dribble and drip as soon as they even see a knife. I did not really want to do much with them – certainly not cook them for too long. I wanted that fresh tomato taste to be honoured and respected. I managed to ensure this by cooking them only briefly, and mixed in a little bit of cream for richness. If you are vegan, you dont have to use cream – add some soy or almond milk if you want, or just leave the tomatoes without cream.

I chose quinoa because of its high protein content. I chopped fresh baby spinach fine, and as soon as the quinoa was ready, I mixed the hot quinoa with a teaspoon of butter and the spinach. It wilted the spinach, and added a pure green flavour to the quinoa, a lovely contrast to the richness of the tomatoes. This meal was really good! We finished everything and as I write this, the house is quiet, happy and satisfied. Exactly right 🙂

This recipe will serve 4 people, and can be adapted to be vegan

Tomato + Garlic

You can serve this sauce with pasta, quinoa, couscous, or even on toast – its fresh, easy and delicious

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp truffle oil (if you have it – it adds a depth of flavour)
  • 4 – 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 – 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp light brown sugar (optional)
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream (or soy or almond milk if you are vegan)

Heat the olive and truffle oils in a medium non stick pan, over medium high heat. Turn the heat to medium low and saute the garlic in a single layer for about five minutes or more. You want the garlic to soften and infuse the oils. This also enables the garlic to cook off its bitter taste. You will have that lovely hit of garlic, but without the sharpness.

Sprinkle the garlic with basil, and liberally season with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to medium high and drizzle the balsamic over. Add the tomatoes, and cook them long enough so that they release their juices. Taste. You may need a little bit more salt and pepper, or you may need to enhance the natural sweetness of the tomatoes with a little bit of sugar. The fresh late summer tomatoes I used were so sweet I didnt need any sugar, but trust your instincts. This sauce should be sweet with tomato-y juices.

Add the cream if you decide to use it, and let it cook down and reduce over low heat for a few minutes. Set the sauce aside while you prepare the quinoa.

Quinoa + Spinach

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped fine

In a small saucepan, mix the quinoa with the water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Place on high heat, and allow to come to the boil. Lower heat so that the quinoa is at a simmer, and cover. Simmer for 20 – 25 minutes until the quinoa is cooked through, and all the liquid has been absorbed.

As soon as the quinoa is ready, spoon into a serving platter. Cut butter over the quinoa, and using a spoon, mix in well. Taste for salt, and adjust. Mix in the fresh spinach and mix well. The spinach will wilt just a little bit and flavour the quinoa.

To Serve

Spoon the tomato + garlic over the quinoa + spinach, and, if you want, scatter a few parmesan shavings over the top. Serve at room temperature. Delight in the freshness of summer!

2 Responses to “Tomatoes + Garlic +Quinoa + Spinach”

  1. Nicole Burley, M.Ed. September 2, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    Hi, Pia! I made this tonight – the vegan version, served with pasta – and it was divine!! SOO easy and SOO delicious. My husband loved it, too, and wants me to add it to our ‘rotation’ of regular meals! Thanks so much for sharing it! Yummmmm.

    • delectableblog September 2, 2010 at 12:56 am #

      Nicole, you just made my day! I am so happy and glad that you and your husband enjoyed the meal … You just made me smile from ear to ear 🙂 xxx

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