Sunday, August 26, 2012

roasted vegetables with quinoa and goat cheese


In case I haven't mentioned it before, I have a slight obsession with roasted veggies. I can't help it...something magical just happens when you toss fresh produce with oil and seasonings and throw them in a hot oven to caramelize. Spring and summer = asparagus, summer squash, eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers. Autumn and winter = sweet potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, pumpkin, and Brussels sprouts. i.e. Whatever the farmers' market is selling.

After another quick trip to PA to see my sister and pick up a certain Italian Plum bridesmaid dress from my seamstress this weekend, I came home with a car full of locally-grown Lancaster produce. Wanting something light to showcase the fresh veggies, this dish accomplished just that.

Oh, and goat cheese? Another obsession.

Roasted Vegetables with Quinoa and Goat Cheese
Yield 4 servings

2 cups quinoa, uncooked
4 cups water (I use broth for extra flavor)
2 medium zucchini, cut into bite-size chunks
1 large red bell pepper, seeds and membrane removed and cut into bite-size chunks
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasonings
salt and pepper
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled into pea-size bites

Preheat the oven to 425°.

In a fine sieve, rinse the quinoa under cold running water. Drain fully. In a large pot, bring the water or broth to boil. Reduce the heat to low, carefully pour in the quinoa, and cover the pot. Cook until the liquid is fully absorbed, 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile, add the vegetables to a large bowl. Add a heavy drizzle of oil, Italian seasonings, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until the vegetables are fully and evenly coated. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and spread the vegetables out into a single layer.

Roast the vegetables in the hot oven until golden and caramelized, turning them every 8-10 minutes, 20-25 minutes in all.

In a large bowl, toss the quinoa with the vegetables and goat cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Inspired by Iron Hen Cafe.

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