Quinoa is a favorite of many with good reason. It’s a grain (actually a seed) that is loaded with protein and is gluten-free. It is easy to prepare and is the perfect blank canvas for many creative additions.
I love it in a salad because it can stand up to big tastes like the ones in this recipe. There is an explosion of tastes and textures, yet there is also a pleasant balance of flavors. Grilling the corn and mushrooms gave them both a flavor boost. The chewiness of the mushrooms gave the dish a “meaty” feel and the tomatoes and onions gave it just the right amount of crunch. Quinoa is innately toothsome and was a perfect counterbalance.
I opted for a vinaigrette liberally laced with lemon and rosemary and a big hint of garlic to keep with the Mediterranean theme. You could use another bean, maybe cannellini if you were so inclined. The addition of a little cheese, perhaps feta, wouldn’t be a sin either. As with all of my recipes, I want you to make it your own.
This would make a wonderful side dish at a cookout, but it would be equally at home starring as they main attraction.
Cook the quinoa in the vegetable stock according to the package directions adding the lemon peel, crushed garlic, and rosemary sprig at the beginning of cooking. Once it is cooked, remove the garlic, lemon, and rosemary as well as any un-absorbed broth and transfer into a large bowl.
Trim the stems on the mushrooms. Cut any very large ones in half. Toss with the olive oil and grill in a basket over medium heat until lightly browned. Add to the bowl of quinoa.
Spray the ears of corn lightly with cooking spray and grill over medium heat until lightly charred on all sides. Allow to cool slightly. Cut the kernels off the cob and add them to the quinoa bowl.
Drain the artichoke hearts well and roughly chop them before adding them to the bowl along with the red onions and garbanzo beans.
Cut the tomatoes in half and add them to the bowl
Toss the ingredients together gently. Add the dressing and toss once more. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a small food processor. Blend until the dressing is smooth. There will be small flecks of rosemary...that is a good thing.
Rinse farro and drain. In a medium pan, combine the farro with 1-1/2 cups stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the farro is as tender as you like. This will take 20 - 30 minutes. While the farro cooks, prepare the vegetables.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add the squashes and the garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes until everything begins to soften and become fragrant.
Add the garbanzos and continue to cook until the beans are beginning to brown. This should take around 5-7 minutes. Make sure you stir often so that they brown evenly.
Add a little of the reserved stock to keep things moving. Add the olives, peppers, and artichokes to the skillet, tossing to combine. Continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes, adding more stock if necessary.
Add the lemon juice, herb blend, and rosemary to the skillet and toss one more time and heat another coupe of minutes.
Divide the farro between 2 bowls creating a little well in the middle. Top each bowl with half of the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle 1 ounce of the feta on each bowl and serve.
Place the chicken in a zip top bag. Mix together the lemon juice, grated garlic, chopped onion, one teaspoon of the herb seasoning, and one tablespoon of the olive oil. Pour into the bag with the chicken squeeze and turn the bag to coat the chicken evenly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours
Remove the chicken from the bag and place on a hot grill. Grill until lightly browned. Turn and grill until the second side matches the first.
Remove the chicken from the grill and lay three sage leaves on each breast. Top with a slice of the cheese and wrap with the prosciutto. Return the chicken to the grill cheese side up and cook for a few minutes to melt the cheese and crisp up the prosciutto.
While the chicken is grilling, combine the zucchini, onions and the remaining olive oil and herb blend in a baking dish. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes.
Top the zucchini with the Romano cheese and broil until the cheese is golden. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
Top each chicken breast with 1 tablespoon of the pesto. Plate it up and serve.
Place the shrimp that have been well dried in a container with a lid.
Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Pour the marinade over the shrimp and stir to coat the shrimp evenly with the marinade. Allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes and as long as 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spray the foil generously with olive oil cooking spray. Place the shrimp on the sheet in a single layer making sure that they do not touch.
Bake for 4 minutes. Shrimp should be translucent and pink. Remove from oven and keep warm.
Heat the olive oil in a large fry pan. Add the red onion and cook 5 minutes until the onion has softened. Add the garlic and pepper flakes and cook another minute.
Add the beans to the pan. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Add the vermouth and cook for another minute.
Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and Kalamata olives. Cook another minute or two. Add the basil and toss to combine.
Divide the bean mixture between two plates. Divide the shrimp between the two plates.
Top each serving of the beans with half of the feta cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice if desired and serve.