I could eat this savory porridge everyday. Between the quinoa, rich in vegetable stock (and butter!), the rich flavor of blistered cherry tomatoes, bright herbs, salty feta cheese tang, and crispy, fried garlic, this dish gives me everything in umami flavors, and diverse textures. I originally made this dish for a quick dinner, but I gladly ate it again for breakfast the next day, and then later for lunch…
Taken from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More, but with a substitution of parsley and cilantro (because that’s what I had) for his mint. You can make thicken or thin this porridge to your liking simply by adjusting the amount of vegetable broth. Don’t skim on the oil or the butter – this dish needs fat to really make it sing!
- 1½ cups quinoa
- about 4 2/3 cups vegetable stock
- 4 tsp unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- 3½ oz crumbled into ¾-inch/2-cm chunks
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 8 oz baby plum tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup cilantro leaves
- salt and black pepper
- 1 green chile, seeded and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
- ½ cup mint leaves ( I used cilantro, instead)
- 7 tbsp olive oil
1. To make the herb oil, place the chile, parsley, mint, oil, and ½ teaspoon salt in the bowl of a small food processor and process to form a smooth sauce with a thick pouring consistency.
2. Place the quinoa in a medium saucepan, add the stock, and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and cook gently, uncovered, for about25 minutes, stirring from time to time, until a porridge-like consistency is formed. You might need to add a bit more stock if the quinoa is sticking to the pan. At the very end, fold in the butter until it melts, followed by the parsley and then the feta, making sure the feta stays in chunks.
3. While the quinoa is cooking, place a large sauté pan over high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice so that all sides get some good charred color. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, so that it turns golden brown without burning. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with¼ teaspoon salt and some black pepper. Chop the mint and fold it into the tomatoes just before serving, as it will start to blacken once chopped.
4. Spoon the warm quinoa porridge into shallow bowls, top with the tomatoes, finish with a drizzle of the herb oil, and serve at once.