What makes this dish special is the hint of lime – delicious! And like so many vegetarian dishes, the secret is to start with the highest quality vegetables. If you don’t have quinoa on hand, it also works well with cous cous. (but that wouldn’t be gluten-free)
The particular combination of vegetables I’ve listed gives this dish a Mediterranean flavor – but feel free to experiment with asparagus, broccoli, butternut squash, even root vegetables.
Serve 6 – 8 as a hearty side dish
2 c quinoa – rinsed thoroughly.
1 small eggplant
1 small zucchini
1 red pepper
1 small yellow squash
1 small purple onion
1 large lime
1/2 c raisins – or more, to taste
1/2 c pine nuts – or more, to taste
salt & pepper
Put the quinoa in a pan with 4 c water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until all the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
Slice all the vegetables in half the long way and brush with olive oil, salt & pepper. Arrange in a baking dish and put in a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes – long enough to give them a cooked feeling, but not so long that they start to turn mushy. The onion might need to stay in the oven longer than everything else.
Roll the lime on the counter to soften it (this lets you squeeze out the maximum amount of juice). Zest all the rind into a large bowl. Slice the lime over the bowl – it’ll be very juicy so you don’t want the juice to leak out on the counter! – and squeeze all the juice into the bowl.
Add the raisins and pine nuts to the bowl, along with the cooked quinoa. Stir to combine everything and get it well coated with lime flavor.
Slice all the vegetables into 1/2-inch chunks and gently stir into the quinoa mixture. Note: don’t add any juice that might leak out from the veggies into the quinoa, or it will get mushy.