Quinoa with tomatoes, olives, and feta

photo 1 (1)Earlier this week I went to Harrods to browse the fancy clothes, the gorgeous food displays, and the cute tourist wares. Harrods is a huge maze of a department store! I found an art gallery, many restaurants, an Egyptian themed escalator, furniture, amazing designer shoes, and a book store. I loved the book store and there were so many cookbooks! I was good and didn’t buy any, but I did thumb through. All those cookbooks made me long to have a real kitchen with more resources at my disposal. I can’t wait until we’re in a real apartment. What should I cook first when I’m back in a full kitchen? I’m taking suggestions.

Meanwhile, while I was doing that, Ryan was in Brussels for work. How cool is that?! Seems super cool to me. He did get to do a bit of walking around, he ate an awesome waffle, and he even saw the King of Belgium! I was jealous. He was only there overnight, so I didn’t go with him, which means I was making dinner for one.

Now, I’ve mentioned it before, but when I’m alone I make girly, vegetarian, salads. My go-to is usually a Greek salad because Ryan doesn’t like olives or feta. I decided to put a twist on a regular salad and do a pretty liberal interpretation of this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Part of the reason for interpreting the recipe is that I don’t currently have access to an oven or food processor. What I found is you don’t need an oven, but a food processor would definitely be helpful. Either way, it’s a pretty yummy and simple dish. The proportions below are small, since it was just for me – but feel free to double it. And sorry, this is not a photogenic dish.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes

3 garlic cloves

Dressing:

1/8 cup olive oil

1/8 cup warm water

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives

1/4 cup crumbled feta

Instructions:

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Or, put 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1 cup of water in a pot, bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer until all water is absorbed. This takes about 20 minutes.

2. Heat a skillet on low. While the pan is heating, cut the tomatoes in half. Also cut the garlic cloves in half. Put the tomatoes and garlic in a hot skillet. Heat for 10 minutes, stir once halfway through. The tomatoes are done when they’re a bit wrinkly and when you press on the tomato skin, it has some gentle give. This part smells so so good!

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3. In a food processor, blend the olive oil, water, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and half of the tomatoes and all the garlic. Blend until smooth (or in my case smash with a fork to the best of your ability).

4. Plate the quinoa, mix in the olives, tomatoes, and feta. Then pour over the dressing. Pour the dressing slowly, to your taste. Don’t just dump it or you’ll have soggy quinoa.

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