Quinoa with griddled aubergines

    1 hour 10 min

    Quinoa, a nutritious grain from South America, has a texture rather like split lentils when cooked. It makes a great alternative to rice. Here it is combined with griddled aubergines, peppers, cherry tomatoes and onions, and then baked with tangy goat's cheese on the top. Serve with a mixed leaf salad.

    7 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 300 g (10½ oz) quinoa
    • 3–4 sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock, preferably home-made
    • 250 g (8½ oz) baby aubergines, cut lengthways into quarters
    • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
    • 1 red onion, cut into chunks
    • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 200 g (7 oz) cherry tomatoes
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • 300 ml (10 fl oz) tomato juice
    • 150 g (5½ oz) goat's cheese log with herbs, cut into 8 slices
    • salt and pepper

    Prep:35min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Ready in:1hr10min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC (375ºF, gas mark 5). Put the quinoa in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Place in a saucepan with the thyme sprigs and stock, and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until all the stock has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender.
    2. Meanwhile, heat a ridged cast-iron grill pan. Brush the aubergines, red pepper and onion with the olive oil, then cook them on the grill pan (in batches if necessary) for 4–5 minutes or until softened and lightly charred on both sides. Transfer to a plate.
    3. Put the whole tomatoes on the grill pan and cook for about 2 minutes or until they are just beginning to burst their skins. Remove from the heat.
    4. When the quinoa is cooked, tip it into an ovenproof dish. Add the griddled vegetables, garlic and tomato juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold together gently.
    5. Arrange the slices of goat's cheese on top of the quinoa mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Serve hot.

    Some more ideas

    Try quinoa with fresh tuna. Marinate 2 fresh tuna steaks, about 300 g (10½ oz) in total, in 1 tbsp olive oil, the grated zest of 1 lemon and ¼ tsp crushed dried chillies. Meanwhile, brush 125 g (4½ oz) asparagus tips and 2 courgettes, sliced on the diagonal, with 1 tbsp olive oil and griddle for 30 seconds on each side. Cook the cherry tomatoes as in the main recipe. Griddle the tuna for 2 minutes on each side. Combine the quinoa, vegetables, garlic and tomato juice in an ovenproof dish. Break the tuna into pieces and scatter over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.

    Plus points

    Quinoa is low in fat, high in starchy carbohydrate and has a higher protein content than other grains. * Aubergines are filling and satisfying without adding many calories – just 15 kcals per 100 g (3½ oz). * Goat's cheese is a good source of protein and calcium, but has a lower fat content than Cheddar cheese.

    Each serving provides

    Excellent source of copper, vitamin A, vitamin C. Good source of calcium, iron, niacin, potassium, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, zinc. Useful source of folate, vitamin B1, vitamin B6, vitamin E.

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