Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad w/ Cauliflower
I was asked to try Near East's new Quinoa & Brown Rice Blends.
I usually buy their brand of flavored couscous, but the combination of brown rice and quinoa was new to me.
I decided to make Ottolenghi's Middle Eastern style cauliflower recipe and add it to the quinoa to make a delicious, healthy, vegetarian main dish.
I find saffron to be an unusual spice, it's not my favorite, however, in this dish it works beautifully with the raisins and brown rice quinoa. I find it can be assertive, so make sure you use just a pinch, and buy the good stuff if you can.
Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad w/ Roasted Cauliflower: (serves 6)
1 box of Near East Quinoa & Brown Rice Blend
1 1/2 tsp saffron threads (you can use less if you think it's too much)
1/3 boiling water
1 red onion, sliced thin
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup of green olives, sliced in half (I used manzanilla olives from the jar)
2 bay leaves
kosher salt & pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
fresh parsley for garnish
Soak the saffron threads in the boiling water for a few minutes to infuse the liquid.
In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower with the rest of the ingredients (except the parsley) and pour the saffron water over all. Season liberally w/ kosher salt & pepper.
Pour the contents of the bowl into a roasting pan and roast the vegetables uncovered for 30-35 minutes at 400F, turning them once during the roasting.
In the meantime, cook the quinoa rice blend as per package directions, it should take 14-17 minutes for the water to absorb. Once the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and place in a large bowl.
When the cauliflower is done, dump it on top of the quinoa rice and toss to combine.
Garnish with fresh parsley. Adjust seasonings and serve.
I liked this even better the next day cold for lunch!