We’re all about grain bowls—and you will be too once you get a taste of this Italian-inspired version, filled to the brim with peak-season produce. Here quinoa is tossed with fresh basil and olive oil, then topped with balsamic roasted eggplant, cherry tomatoes, and a dollop of gooey burrata cheese. Bowled over yet?
¼ cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
6″ small pot with lid
½ cup quinoa
¼ ounce basil
2 cloves garlic
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1½ tablespoons Champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2½ teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons balsamic glaze
3 ounces baby arugula
4 ounces burrata
For the best seal on your pouch, tuck and crimp the edges of the aluminum foil as tightly as possible, all the way around. Doing so will help your tomatoes roast and steam for even cooking—and make for easier cleanup.
Burrata is a delicate cheese, so be sure to handle gently. Since it is filled with a soft cream, discard only the watery liquid from the container and not any cheese solids.
Preheat oven to 450°F. In a small pot, combine quinoa, 1 cup water, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until water is evaporated and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove pot from heat and set aside, still covered, until ready to serve.
While quinoa cooks, rinse all produce. Halve eggplants lengthwise through stems. Roughly chop or tear basil leaves, discarding stems. Using the flat side of a knife, gently crush garlic cloves and place on a large piece of aluminum foil with cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with ½ tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Fold and crimp foil to create a pouch (see Recipe Tip).
Rub a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season cut-sides of eggplantwith ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Arrange eggplants cut-side down on baking sheet, and place pouch with tomatoes alongside. Roast together until eggplant skin is charred and flesh is very tender, 15 minutes.
While vegetables roast, in a large bowl, whisk together Champagne vinegar, half of Dijon mustard, and half of honey. Discard remaining mustard and honey or use for another recipe. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Whisking continuously, slowly add 3 tablespoons olive oil until fully combined. Set aside.
Once eggplants are done roasting, remove from oven. Flip eggplants and drizzle cut sides with balsamic glaze, spreading in an even layer. Return to oven and roast until balsamic is warm and tomatoes are beginning to burst, 3-5 minutes. Remove eggplants and tomatoes from oven.
Add arugula to bowl with dressing and toss to coat. Stir basil and ½ tablespoon olive oil into pot with quinoa. Remove burrata from container. Discard excess liquid (see Recipe Tip). Divide quinoa, arugula, eggplants, and half of burrata between serving plates. Remove and discard garlic from pouch. Gently press tomatoes to release their juices. Spoon tomatoes over salad.
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