If you’re someone that always has cooked quinoa lurking about in the fridge or freezeror both (hi, we should be friends)then this recipe is for you. Cooking quinoa is not hard work, but it definitely makes sense to do it in bigger batches than you’d immediately need, and stash the rest away for a day when you want dinner on the table in the time that it takes to change into your pyjamas.

If you follow me on social media, I’m sure you’ve been inundated with pictures of my sun-dried tomato experiments. I’ve been using them quite liberally now that I make my own. If you have only the store-bought kind on hand—dried or oil-preserved—they work just as well here. The recipe also calls for tomato purée. I don’t ever buy this stuff, but I used it one time when I didn’t have any homemade tomato sauce on hand and I really like it here. The tetra-pak tomato purées available in the market are much more concentrated in flavour than any tomato sauce you’ll be able to rustle up in ten minutes. Sure, if you labour over it for an hour or two you could get it thick and jammy and more flavourful than the bought variant, but taking on that task is entirely up to you. If you have access to tomato paste (the kind that comes in a toothpaste tube), use that.

MEDITERRANEAN-ISH QUINOA

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked quinoa (or 4 1/2 cups cooked quinoa)
  • 1/3 cup tomato puree (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup pitted olives, roughly torn (green or black)
  • 3 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 grams feta cheese
  • Chilli flakes, to taste
  • Basil leaves, chopped (optional)
  • Avocado slices to top, optional
  • Salt, to taste

Instructions

  • Cook quinoa according to packet instructions. Quinoa can be cooked and refrigerated a few days in advance. If using frozen quinoa, thaw before using.
  • Chop the sun-dried tomatoes into approx 1 cm pieces.
  • Heat olive oil in a large pan and add sun-dried tomatoes, onions, garlic and chilli flakes. Cook until the onions lightly brown around the edges, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add tomato purée, olives and salt. Cook over a high heat until the tomato purée thickens significantly.
  • Tip the cooked quinoa into the pot and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add chopped basil leaves if using and stir through.
  • Crumble the feta over the top and serve. Can be eaten hot or at room temperature.

Notes

  • I hardly ever use canned or bought tomato purées. But here I find that the tetra-pak Dabur tomato purée adds the right flavour and consistency. Alternatively, use a dollop of tomato paste and a little water. Just make sure it’s reduced to a thick sauce before you add the quinoa.
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  • I made my own sun-dried tomatoes. If using store-bought that’s preserved in oil, add only the tomatoes without any oil.

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