I love November— the beautiful colors and time change. Most importantly, my favorite holiday is right around the corner—Thanksgiving! If you are cooking for the holiday, this potato dish can create fun at the table and is a nice substitute for traditional mashed potatoes. The quinoa and cheese adds protein and earthy depth while the peppers and other spices add some zing! Enjoy all the blessings of the season.
Roasted Quinoa with Potatoes and Cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 pound small waxy potatoes, like fingerling, new red or Peruvian purple, peeled if you like and cut lengthwise into wedges
3-4 cloves peeled garlic
¾ cup quinoa
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup sliced scallion
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1-2 tablespoons minced fresh chile (like jalapeno or Thai) or to taste. May also use hot red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste
6 ounces cheese, like cheddar, gouda or mozzarella, grated (about 1 ½ cups)
¼ cup minced parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 400◦ F. Grease an 8 x 10-inch roasting pan with a tablespoon or so of the olive oil.
Put the potato wedges and garlic in a large pot with water to cover, salt it and turn the heat to high. When the water begins to boil, stir in the quinoa. Adjust the heat so that the water boils assertively and cook, stirring once or twice, for about 5 minutes.
Drain the quinoa, garlic, and potatoes in a strainer, but leave them fairly wet. Spread them into the prepared pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, and gently toss with a spatula. Spread them out again. Roast, undisturbed, for 15 minutes. Gently toss again, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and return the pan to the oven for another 10 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender on the inside and golden on the outside.
Add the scallion, bell pepper, and chile and toss everything one last time. Taste and adjust the seasoning, keeping in mind that the cheese will add some saltiness. Spread the cheese over all and return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Serves: 6, Per Serving – Calories: 320; Carbohydrates: 31; Protein: 12g; Fat: 18g; Sodium: 155mg; Fiber: 5g
Mark Bittman (2007). How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Wiley Publishing, New Jersey