Saturday, July 2, 2011

Quinoa and Grilled Zucchini with Avocado Dressing

Serves 4 to 6

This quinoa and grilled zucchini bowl (or platter) is tossed with a pretty, pale green cilantro-flecked avocado dressing. It makes more than you will use for this particular recipe, but it's great to have the extra on hand to add to salads or grilled veggies throughout the rest of the week. If you dislike cilantro feel free to substitute chopped chives. You can even throw in some jalepeno.

1 large avocado, ripe
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 c lightly packed cilantro
1 clove garlic
1/4 c plain yogurt
3/4 c water
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt

3 large eggs

1 large zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch thick coins
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
Couple pinches of fine grain sea salt

2 c quinoa, cooked, room temperature
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
1/4 c goat cheese, crumbled
A bit of chopped cilantro for garnish

Prepare the cilantro-avocado dressing by blending the avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, yogurt, water, and salt in a blender (or us a hand blender). Set aside.

Hard boil the three eggs. Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so - long enough to stop the cooking. Set aside.

While the eggs are cooling start preparing the zucchini by tossing it with olive oil and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Prepare your grill (medium-high heat). If you are worried about the zucchini coins falling through the grill you can thread them onto kabob skewers (stab through the green skin). Grill until zucchini are tender and cooked through, roughly 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the grill and cut each zucchini coin into quarters.

Crack and peel each egg, cut each egg into quarters lengthwise. Assemble the salad by tossing the quinoa with about 2/3 cups of the avocado vinaigrette. Top with the grilled zucchini, pine nuts, eggs, goat cheese, and a bit of chopped cilantro for garnish. I serve this family-style, but you could do individual platings.

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