This meal is always a favorite in my household — even with the former summer squash hater in the family. The layers of textures and flavors from the quinoa, wild rice, balsamic roasted squash and garlicky tomatoes all play nicely together, and make for a healthy late-summer meal. I love using a variety of tomatoes and summer squash for this dish; the various shapes and rainbow of colors available at local farmer’s markets create a gorgeous, kid-friendly presentation.
If I know that I will be pressed for time the night that I’m making this, I’ll go ahead and cook the grains up a few days ahead of time (store in the fridge or freezer) and reheat them in the microwave once the veggies come out of the oven. Leftovers from the finished dish are just as good for lunch the next day, too.
I hope this meal is as big a hit with your family as it is with mine!
Roasted Tomato and Summer Squash Pilaf
Source: Heather Sage
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4 as a main dish, 8 as a side
- 3/4 cup (112 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Wild Rice, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups Water
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 2 pounds Tomatoes (cherry or firm regular-sized), preferably a mix of colors and varieties
- 2 pounds Summer Squash and Zucchini
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) Balsamic Vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 3/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1/4 cup (57 grams) Olive Oil
- 3 tablespoons (42 grams or about 1 bulb) Garlic, roughly minced
- 1 cup (184 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Organic Quinoa Grain, rinsed and drained in fine mesh strainer
- 3 cups Water
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
For Plating and Serving:
- 2 ounces crumbled Feta Cheese, plus more for serving
- Maldon Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Additional Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
Cook Wild Rice:
In a small saucepan (2-quart), combine wild rice, water and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, uncovered. Once it reaches a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes – 1 hour (the grains will be puffed (white interior of the rice is visible) and slightly chewy. Remove from heat, and strain just before serving if any water remains.
Prepare and Roast Vegetables:
Once the wild rice is at a simmer, arrange oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450°F. Line two, large rimmed baking sheets (preferably half sheet size, 18”x13”) with parchment paper; set aside.
Cut cherry tomatoes in half through the stem end, cube larger tomatoes into 1/2 – 1” pieces. Place cut tomatoes into the bowl of a salad spinner and whir them about to remove some of the seeds and excess liquid (feel free to skip this step if you don’t own a salad spinner). Transfer tomatoes into a large mixing bowl (3- or 4-quart).
Cut squash into 1/2” – 3/4” inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl (3- or 4-quart).
In a small bowl, combine vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisking constantly, gradually drizzle in olive oil until the vinaigrette is fully emulsified. Coat the squash with about 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette; toss the tomatoes with the remainder. Spread squash in a single layer on one of the baking sheets. On the other baking sheet, arrange the tomatoes in a single layer; sprinkle garlic evenly over the top.
Place squash on the upper third and the tomatoes on the lower third of the preheated oven. Roast vegetables for about 40-45 minutes, turning half way through — the squash will be lightly browned and tender, and the tomatoes will reduce into a chunky, sauce-like consistency.
Once the veggies are in the oven, start preparing quinoa.
In a 4-quart or larger pot, combine quinoa with water and salt and bring to a boil, uncovered. Continue to boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Transfer quinoa into a fine mesh strainer (the same one you rinsed it in before cooking), and rinse grains with cold tap water until chilled.
Rinse out pot and fill with one inch of water, bring to a boil. Place strainer with quinoa over water, cover with a clean flour sack towel and the lid (don’t worry if it’s not covered tightly, you just want something to help create a steamy environment). Steam the quinoa for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, keep covered and allow quinoa to rest for at least 5 minutes; fluff with a fork just before plating.
Plate and Serve:
Onto a large, heatproof platter, layer quinoa, wild rice, roasted vegetables and about 2 ounces of feta cheese (alternately, toss everything together in a large bowl). Serve immediately with additional cheese, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Heather Sage shares original, gluten-free recipes on her site A Sage Amalgam. As a native New Englander who now lives in the Silicon Valley (with a few stops in Ohio, North Carolina and Florida along the way), the recipes she creates are inspired by all the places she’s been and those she hopes to travel to in the future. With many years of home cooking under her belt, and techniques honed at a local community college, the recipes she writes may seem daunting, but they are absolutely suited to any skill level (her novice husband, David, tests most of them out).