Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Picnic in the Park - Quinoa and Bacon

We had a picnic in the park yesterday - Symphony in the park is one of my favorite nights of the year. I baked that same Apricot Tart I made a few weeks ago (it seemed very picnic-y and was delicious), but once I started cooking, I wanted to cook some more.

I decided to make the bacon that I had fallen in love with over my 4th of July holiday. We nick-named it 'crack bacon', it was spicy, sweet and magical. I found a Spicy Sweet Bacon recipe on epicurious and tried it. I'm going to try it again but change the brown sugar to maple syrup - that said, even with the brown sugar - it was amazing!

I've been eating a lot of quinoa. But I really wanted a pasta salad kind of thing. So I found a couple of recipes and mixed them up for a Roasted Vegetable and Chevre Quinoa Salad:
3 Crook-necked squash
2 Zuchini
1 Vidalia onion
1 1/2 pint thingees of cherry tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup Kalmata olives
1 box quinoa
5 oz goat cheese
Fresh herbs - I used basil, lemon basil, lemon oregano and tarragon
Salt and white pepper (black pepper would work, but I love white pepper)
  • Cook the quinoa normally
  • Roast zuchini, squash, onion, garlic and 1 pint cherry tomatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper at 450 for about 30 minutes
  • Add the goat cheese to the quinoa
  • Add salt, pepper and herbs to the quinoa
  • Mix in the roasted vegetables
  • Roughly chop the last 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, mix in with olives into quinoa
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste
All three offerings were well received by the picnic-ers!