Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Jun 2nd - Warm Quinoa, Roasted Tofu and Vegetable Salad with Arugula

One day I will get better at naming my dishes.  I just hate to leave out a key ingredient.  I have often wondered how chef's, real ones, decide which ingredient will get top billing.  My naming techinique is far more socialist I guess.  Everyone gets named.

Warm Quinoa, Roasted Tofu and Vegetable Salad with Arugula
(for 2 starters or 1 main)

1/2 medium Eggplant, cubed
150 g Extra Firm Tofu, cubed
6-8 spears Asparagus, trimmed and chopped in 2 inch pieces
1/2 Red Onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and quartered
1/4 c Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Ground Pepper

Preheat the oven to 450F

Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper (not wax paper).

In a large bowl, toss with Olive Oil and season lightly.  I would do this in batches and spread out on to the pan.  The only reason I suggest this is because the Eggplant can be like a sponge and you want to ensure the other Veg get coated.

Try to ensure that the Veg and Tofu is evenly distributed and spread out in a single layer.

Place in the Oven in the bottom third level.  After 10 minutes turn the pan 180 degrees.  Toss a bit if you want.  Roast 10 more minutes. 


1/4 c Quinoa (uncooked)
1/2 c Water or Veg Broth
1/4 t Salt
Start the cooking just as the Vegetables and Tofu go into the oven.  Since this is a very small amount of Quinoa, you should use your smallest saucepan or even a small nonstick frypan with a lid.

Bring all the ingredients to a boil briefly then reduce to a low simmer covered for 15-20 minutes.  When all the moisture is absorbed turn off heat and let stand.  Fluff with fork. I started the Quinoa when I started the oven on Preheat.

Assembled Salad

4 leaves fresh Basil
4 leaves fresh Mint
1/4 c chopped Fresh Parsley
2 c Baby Arugula
1 Lemon, juiced and zested
1 t Dijon Mustard
1 t Horseradish (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large bowl, juice the lemon.  Whisk in the Mustard and Horseradish.  If you want you can balance with oil as you might a proper vinagrette but I thought that since there was already a lot of Olive Oil in the roasting of the Vegetables, I would not bother and it worked out fine.

Chiffonade the leaf herbs.  Stack like cards then roll like a cigar and slice thinly.

Add the warm Quinoa and mix thoroughly.  Add the Herbs and toss fluffing as you go.  You don't want the Quinoa to get gloopy. Add the Roasted Veg and Tofu directly from the Oven.  Mix a few times and then add the Arugula in small handfuls to wilt slightly as you go.

YUMMO, veggie comfort.

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