It’s summer time, everyone. If you couldn’t tell by the blazing hot temperatures or all the fun outside activities like swimming (or at least lounging by the pool) going on, you should certainly be tipped off by the amount of garden vegetables being consumed. If you don’t have a garden, surely you know someone who does and who is having entirely too many tomatoes. Be friends with someone with a garden, it pays. While I was counting on having a big zucchini crop right around this time as well, I don’t, because of the aforementioned stink bug situation. But I think it turned out well, because now I don’t have two bumper crops coming in at the same time, which would surely overwhelm me. What I do have plenty of is tomatoes. I’ve been making so much pizza sauce and grape tomato spaghetti sauce and Bailey eats loads of grape tomatoes every day. She thinks they’re candy or something. But whatever, it gets the dozens of tomatoes eaten.
So anyway, we have been consuming a lot of tomatoes. The other day I even uttered the statement, “Ok… what can I eat a tomato on today?” Tomato sandwiches are a big favorite here in the south. Have you had one? It does sound gross, I will admit. It is so far from gross, though. Thick slices of tomatoes on bread, salt and pepper, and mayo on both slices of bread. Do it. Do it now, if you never have.
This side dish helped me to use up lots of things I had a huge amount of. Basil, feta cheese, and grape tomatoes. Because yes, the basil is booming in our garden, too and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it but there’s only so much pesto a family can eat. And it fulfilled one of Heather’s wishes, which was to roast tomatoes, because everything is better when it’s roasted. Seriously. Also, it makes a great cold lunch on subsequent days after you make it. It makes a huge amount so unless you have a lot of people to feed, half the recipe.
Quinoa with Roasted Tomatoes and Pesto Vinaigrette
For the tomatoes and quinoa:
2 cups cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt, to taste
2 cups dry quinoa
4 cups broth (I used veggie but you can use any broth or even water)
1 cup crumbled feta
For the pesto vinaigrette:
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup basil leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4-6 tablespoons olive oil
- For the tomatoes: Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Place tomatoes on prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 35 minutes, giving them a shake about half way through the baking time. When finished, sprinkle with salt and set aside.
- For the quinoa: In a medium sauce pan, combine quinoa, salt, and broth or water to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer, covered for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Leave covered for an extra 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.
- For the vinaigrette: Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and pulse until smooth. With food processor running, add olive oil until it’s a smooth consistency. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine quinoa, tomatoes, and vinaigrette and gently toss. The salad may be served warm, room temperature or cold. I preferred it cold but Heather enjoyed it hot. To each his own!
Source: Loosely based on Big Girls Small Kitchen