This Quinoa with Garlic Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pesto is my favourite way to eat quinoa! It makes a perfect ‘meatless Monday’ or plant based kind of meal!
The quinoa takes on a nutty toasted flavour after the casserole is baked in the oven. Although this combination of flavours is the one I like best you can vary the layers with other ingredients to tailor to your taste or what you have – example – try a layer of roasted peppers, or fried mushrooms and caramelized onions or replace goat cheese with ricotta, replace pesto with tomato sauce. You get the idea!
With the emphasis on plant based foods of late this makes a perfect vegetarian dish, although not vegan unless you sub out the goat cheese for a vegan cheese.
There is no compromise on flavour here. It would be great with this Green Salad with Copy Cat Olive Garden Dressing
Wine Pairing for Quinoa with Garlic Goat Cheese, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pesto
I would focus on the tomato and pesto flavours to pair here so think Italian Chianti or Barbera. Barbera is a bit lighter and therefore more approachable than some of the bigger Chiantis.
A White would need to be fairly robust to match the flavour intensity here so think Soave of Falanghina.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups sun-dried tomatoes minced
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 Tbsps white wine
- 1 bulb garlic roasted
- 6 oz goat cheese at room temperature
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup pesto sauce (I use Kirkland's)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray deep casserole dish with cooking spray. I used 8 1/2" X 6 1/2" X 2 1/2 inch deep.
- Cook quinoa according to manufacturer's directions. Usually means put quinoa and water in a pot, bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes before stirring.
- To roast garlic, trim the head off a bulb of garlic. Do not peal cloves. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top, wrap in foil and roast in 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. When bulb is cool enough to handle squeeze cloves out of the skin.
- Mash roasted garlic, tsp olive oil and goat cheese together until evenly mixed and spreadable. Set aside.
- For the sun-dried tomatoes, add the wine to the hot water and soak the tomatoes approx 20 minutes. Drain tomatoes after they are softened.
- For the pesto I used Kirkland's Basil Pesto right out of the jar.
- Layer 1/3rd of quinoa in the bottom of your casserole.
- Spread the sun-dried tomatoes evenly over the quinoa base
- Layer another 1/3rd of quinoa.
- Spread goat cheese mixture carefully over the quinoa layer. The warmth of the quinoa will help soften the goat cheese. Be careful not to stir up the quinoa layer when spreading the cheese. If your cheese layer is a bit clumpy it is ok as long as it is evenly distributed. It will melt further in the oven.
- Spread the pesto over the cheese layer.
- Top with remaining quinoa and press gently to even out the entire casserole.
- Heat in over at 350 degrees for approx 25 minutes
- Slice and serve.