The embers of an intense passion gently glow deep within the confines of my soul. I willingly fuel this unquenchable craving on a daily basis, nourishing its presence and embracing its necessity.
I speak, of course, of garlic.
It will be a strange and unhappy day when something I cook does not contain an (abundant) amount of fresh garlic substantially sliced, sautéed, or stirred into the dish. Especially when combined with other magical Mediterranean herbs like oregano and basil, this stunning ingredient makes each day worth living.
Which brings us here, to a bed of fluffy quinoa. A beautiful and innovative backdrop for classic pizza ingredients.
Don’t think of this as a pizza replacement or alternative. No such thing exists. Instead, consider it a satisfying new vehicle to transport garlicky perfection into your mouth.
¾ Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ Cup Red Wine Vinegar
3-4 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1 Tbs. Dried Basil
1 Tbs. Dried Parsley
1 Tbs. Dried Oregano
½ Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1 Tsp. Sea Salt (Fine)
¾ Tsp. Black Pepper
- Choose a nice-sized glass jar
- Combine all of the ingredients
- Shake the jar
- Set aside til needed
1 Cup Quinoa (I used Red Quinoa)*
2 Cups Water
1 Green Bell Pepper
¼ Large Vidalia Onion
1 Can, 14 oz. Artichoke Hearts
1 Can, 14.5 oz. Diced Tomatoes
Massive Bunch of Fresh Spinach, Chopped
Jar of Vinaigrette
Salt & Pepper
* For the Quinoa, feel free to follow the instructions on the package or the steps featured below. Follow your heart!
- Add the quinoa and water into a medium pot and cover with a lid
- Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower to medium heat
- Cook for 10-12 minutes
- Turn off the heat, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and leave covered til ready to use
- While the quinoa is boiling, preheat the oven to 375°F
- Set a strainer over a bowl, open the can of diced tomatoes, pour into the strainer and set aside so the liquid and drain out – feel free to use a rubber spatula to help the process along
- Dismantle the green bell pepper by cutting off the top and bottom and removing the stem and inside
- Cut into large pieces and place on a sheet pan
- Cut the ¼ onion into large slices and place on the same sheet pan
- Drizzle with olive oil
- Roast for 15 – 20 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through, til blisters form on the skin of the pepper
- Drain the can of artichoke hearts and pat them dry with a clean dishcloth or paper towel
- Give them a rough chop then arrange on a different sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Roast for 15 – 20 Minutes til the edges become golden and crispy
- Remove the onions and peppers and allow to cool before giving them a nice small dice
- In a large bowl or travel container, arrange the spinach evenly on the bottom
- Allow the still steamy quinoa to rain down on top of the fresh spinach and spread evenly
- Pour about half of the vinaigrette so the quinoa can begin absorbing the rich flavors
- Toss in the onions, peppers, tomatoes, artichokes hearts (you don’t have to arrange them like I did in the photo; I just thought it looked pretty and this is a food blog so it all makes sense).
- Pour on the remaining vinaigrette and gently toss the entire mixture so all of the different components get to say hi to each other and the glorious vinaigrette coats everything
The majority of this sat in my fridge overnight, ready and waiting to be shared at an office potluck. In the meantime, I treated myself to a small bowl. Just for quality control purposes of course.