Monday, September 15, 2008

Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes

I am starting to feel the blog pressure. Summer is over, traveling has ended, and life should be slowing down. I really have been enjoying some time in the kitchen, but my blog has yet to rebound from the busy period I had this summer. Really, this just shows how lucky I am. I have great friends, an amazing husband, and a happy, full life. But I love this blog, too, so I'm going to try to be more disciplined about sharing my cooking as we move into fall.

I have to share this recipe before it gets too late, because tomato season will be gone before we know it. What a fun recipe this was! I feel like stuffing tomatoes usually has a very tasty result, and the red quinoa I used was a great new addition to my kitchen. I have really enjoyed quinoa since I discovered it a few months ago, and when I saw the red variety at the store I knew I had to try it. I adore the nutty flavor of qunioa, and have found it to be a more nutritious side dish than my beloved couscous. I try to eat vegetarian dishes at least once or twice a week, and quinoa is a great source of protein. And when it's cooked, it really just looks cool, with the white band around the outside, doesn't it?!

Believe it or not, this recipe was inspired by the recipe on the back of the quinoa box. Cremini mushrooms, marsala wine, shallots... it sounded like a flavor combination I would really enjoy! And the end result was quite satisfying. It was a hearty flavor, yet still light and reminiscent of summer. I thought it was a great dish for this in-between time when we're not quite ready to give up on summer flavors.

Marsala Braised Quinoa with Crimini Mushrooms-- from Ancient Harvest Quinoa packaging

1 cup Inca red quinoa
2 cups water
pinch sea salt
2 Tbsp oil
2 shallots, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 cup marsala wine
2 Tbsp Tamari (I subbed soy sauce)
1/4 lb crimini mushrooms, minced
1/2 Tbsp whole fennel seeds, crushed (I omitted)
1/4 cup fresh basil or cilantro

Cook red quinoa according to package directions. Warm a heavy bottomed skillet. Add olive oil and minced shallot, and cook slowly until shallots are clear, soft, and beginning to brown. Add mushrooms, toss well, and spread out over the bottom of the pan, stirring occasionally. Cook until mushrooms are deep brown. Add cooked quinoa, mix well. When grain is thoroughly heated and beginning to stick to bottom of pan, add marsala and tamari and stir. Cover for a few minutes. Toss a generous amount of minced fresh herbs into the grain.

This mixture can be eaten as a side dish, or can be stuffed into roasted tomatoes. To roast the tomatoes, scoop seeds and insides out of four large tomatoes, brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes, until skin is slightly soft.


Darius T. Williams said...

Shhh - don't tell anyone, but I've never had quinoa. I want to try it though soon...I thin k I'll need it with meat though - lol. That tomato looks good...not a fan of mushrooms though. Honestly, I'm not THAT hard to please. - lol.


Sarah said...

I've actually never had quinoa, either. I've heard such great things about it, though, that I need to give it a try. This recipe sounds amazing.

A World in a PAN said...

I have never tried quinoa ... this is a good and tempting recipe!

Erin said...

I'm so glad I could introduce this ingredient to a few people. Do try it... I promise you'll like it!