Quinoa is making its way into our kitchen more and more – it is a delicious grain (actually it is a seed that acts like a grain) and is very easy to cook. This is a recipe that you will love, both for its flavour and its versatility.
In this recipe, Quinoa is cooked much longer than usual until a porridge-like texture is achieved, then it is enriched with butter and feta. It is topped with tomatoes and a herb oil, and the result is satisfying and comforting in a way that will appeal both to lovers of quinoa as well as those still in need of some convincing.
This is an Ottolenghi recipe, a cracker of a dish, from his book Plenty More – we are cooking our way through this book. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area, or ones that we already have in our kitchen. For this recipe, Ottolenghi chars some cherry tomatoes. But we have used our own dried tomatoes in oil with some lovely roasted garlic that we had sitting in a fridge. It is divine.
It is Ottolenghi Cook the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish all the latest posts of recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note again that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.
Browse all of our Quinoa dishes, and all of our Tomato recipes. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Autumn recipes.
Quinoa Porridge with Tomatoes and Herb Oil
about 1.1 litres or more of vegetable stock or water
20g unsalted butter
10g parsley, chopped
100g feta, crumbled into 2cm chunks
1 tspn olive oil
12 dried tomato halved in oil
6 – 8 roasted garlic cloves, squeezed from their skins
10g mint leaves
1 green chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
15g mint leaves
100ml olive oil
To make the herb oil, place the chilli, parsley, mint, oil, and sea salt to taste in the bowl of a small food processor and process to form a smooth sauce with a thick pouring consistency.
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, stirring from time to time, until a porridge-like consistency is formed. The time taken will be about 3 – 4 times it takes to cook your quinoa normally, so check your package’s instructions. You will need to add a bit more stock if the quinoa is sticking to the pan. When the quinoa porridge is cooked, fold in the butter until it melts, followed by the parsley and then the feta, making sure the feta stays in chunks and does not melt.
if using dried tomatoes in oil and roasted garlic: Mix the dried tomato halves with the roasted garlic. Sprinkle with a little salt and some black pepper. Chop the mint and add it to the tomatoes just before serving, to avoid it blackening after being chopped.
Spoon the warm quinoa porridge into shallow bowls, top with the tomato mixture, finish with a drizzle of the herb oil, and serve at once.
recipe notes and alternatives
Roast some cherry tomatoes to use in place of the dried tomatoes. While the quinoa is cooking, place a large sauté pan over high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the cherry tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice so that all sides get some good charred colour. Add 4 cloves of garlic, sliced, and cook for 30 – 45 seconds, so that it turns golden brown without burning.