Baharat Seasoned Quinoa

March 4, 2011 § 1 Comment

Baharat Seasoning is a mixture of Mediterranean-esq spices and herbs that lend a multidimensional flavor to whatever they’re mixed into.  The sweet flavors of dried mint & cinnamon contrast the pungent, earthy flavor of cumin seeds. When heated, this mixture is sure to fill your kitchen with the warm aroma of  Middle-Eastern cuisine.

Because I thoroughly enjoy the nutty taste & fluffy texture of quinoa, I find myself blending it into lots of dishes. Plus, quinoa, known by the Incans as the “mother of grains”, is a great way to get a kick of protein & fiber. Mixed with eggplant & sweet corn this dish is a satisfying blend of sweet & savory flavors.

Baharat Seasoning:

2 Tbsp dried mint,  2 Tbsp of Oregano,  1.5 tsps ground cinnamon, ground coriander, ground nutmeg, and cumin seeds  1 tsp of sea salt

Quinoa

1 Cup of quinoa,  1/2 eggplant,  1/2 large red onion,  1/4 cup organic sweet corn,  2 Tbsp Baharat seasoning, olive oil, kosher salt, & black pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice onion into thick slices, drizzle with olive oil, season with kosher salt and pepper, and roast until caramelized, about 20 minutes.   Meanwhile, bring 2 cups water and quinoa to a boil, then cover, stirring every couple of minutes until fluffy. Quinoa is a relatively fast cooking grain (15-20 minutes over a medium heat) so be sure to keep an eye on it. While onions are roasting and quinoa is boiling, start eggplant. Cut egg plant vertically, to form three thin, slab-like pieces. Brown both sides of the eggplant in a hot cast iron skillet over medium heat. Remove eggplant, slice into small pieces then return to skillet. Add the corn when eggplant is browned and sliced. Once corn begins to brown slightly, add Baharat seasoning. Mix until well incorporated, then add 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa. Season with salt pepper, and olive oil.  Heat over med-high heat until quinoa begins to get slightly crispy. Add red onion and toss.

Baharat seasoned quinoa is terrific served over a bed of lightly olive oil-kissed greens. This dish makes a great dinner when accompanied by a plate of olives & some fresh feta cheese!

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