Quinoa Salad with Oven Roasted Tomatoes

23 June 2023 Dairy Free Gluten Free Vegetarian Friendly
Oven roasted tomatoes are a flavour bomb of deeply condensed intense sweetness and the secret ingredient in many of my summer grain dishes and salads. They take moments to prep, happily sit in a low oven while their flavour caramelises while you potter around at home or read your book in the hammock.

A true taste of sunshine,I keep these on hand as a summer fridge basic ready to elevate just about any grain dish or salad, added to sandwiches or just as part of a sharing/charcuterie/cheese board to accompany your Rose with friends on warm evenings. (Plus, if you grow your own this is an amazing way to use your stash.)

Oven roasted tomatoes first appeared in my kitchen as a little happy accident on a week where there was such a glut even we couldn’t get through them all. I slow roasted the excess, kept them in oil in the fridge and the love affair began.

Here I am adding these jewels to what is now my favourite summer quinoa salad. The oil and juice that meld together during the cooking process makes the perfect dressing and all I add to this are some toasted hazelnuts and a handful of greens (rocket, pea shoots, spinach, watercress, fresh herbs, whatever you have on hand).

Whenever I can I make this with Hodmedods smoked quinoa. If you don’t know them, you should (this is not sponsored just sharing the love). The smoked variety is not critical to recipe success here but just adds a wonderful depth of flavour and a little unexpected surprise when you take the first bite. Please still make this with regular or tricolour quinoa, or any grain of your choice (it works equally well with spelt, freekeh, barley, faro or any mixture of your favourites).

For the Salad

  • 1 batch oven roasted tomatoes (below)
  • A forkful of pickled onions or half a red onions, sliced thinly
  • 200g quinoa or grain of choice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 100g fresh  greens – rocket, baby spinach, pea shoots, watercress or fresh soft herbs
  • 100g toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • a forkful of pickled onions if  you have any to hand or half a thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or confit garlic oil

For the Oven Roasted Tomatoes

  • If you have any confit garlic sitting in your fridge, the oil is delicious on these, and you can replace it with the olive oil and garlic below.
  • 350g cherry vine tomatoes or any small combination of choice
  • 1 clove of garlic thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a good pinch of Aleppo pepper or mild chili flakes
  • 4-6 sprigs of thyme
  • salt and pepper

Optional Extras

  • a sprig or two of fresh oregano leaves
  • 15g chives, chopped finely
  • steamed fresh peas or broad beans

Preheat oven to 160C.

Slice the tomatoes in half and lay cut side up on a shallow sided baking tray

Thinly slice the garlic clove and sprinkle over the cut tomatoes.

Season with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper, add the thyme sprigs and olive oil and mix everything together to coat in the seasoning.

Cook for 1 1/2 – 2 hours depending  on the size of the tomatoes until they are slightly shrivelled and  bronzed around the edges.

Rinse quinoa thoroughly until the water runs clear.  Heat a wide, shallow sauté pan with tight fitting lid over medium heat and add drained quinoa, stirring occasionally until dry and smells toasted and fragrant.

Add 500ml water, a good pinch of salt and bring to the boil.  Add 1tbsp vegetable stock if you have any to hand, a bay leaf, and once boiling, stir and cover.  Turn the heat down to low and simmer without lifting the lid for 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and allow to rest.  DO NOT LIFT THE LID

After 10 minutes or so, take off the lid, fluff up with a fork, and add the sherry vinegar.  Allow to cool.  It is important to do this while the quinoa is still warm to absorb the flavour

When you are ready to assemble the salad, , gently stir together the cooked tomatoes (with any remaining oil in the bottom of the tray), quinoa, and remaining ingredients.  Taste for seasoning.  Add 1 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper as necessary.

Have you made this dish?

Let me know what you think, share your efforts and any tweaks you made to the recipe on Instagram, don’t forget to tag #BuildingFeasts or email me on info@buildingfeasts.com