Well, that bite stuck in my mind and though I didn’t duplicate that quinoa cake, I did make one that is quite good. You see, I am a refrigerator cook. I take whatever I can find in my pantry and fridge and generally turn out a respectable dinner. The fridge held leftover quinoa, so I went with it. The quinoa cake that Liz ate had lemon ricotta and zucchini in it, according to the menu, and mine just has lemon zest, but for one layer of a dinner entree it really worked out well.
Lately, I’ve also been admiring the gorgeous tomatoes that are showing up in the market and trying to make good use of them. Manservant is not a tomato fiend so I have to disguise them in ways that usually require me to mash them to bits or cook the hell out of them. He will eat a caprese salad if the tomatoes are full of flavor and not mushy. However quartering them and adding them to a salad, just means I’ll find tomatoes resting on the side of the plate when he is finished eating. It does appear though that fresh basil, syrupy balsamic vinegar, and fresh, creamy cheese work their magic on him. Thank goodness something does.
Well, one thing led to another and these ingredients led to this perfect summer entree. Manservant even declared its virtues, so it was a good thing I wrote it down as dinner came together. And then Zoe called and I realized that this is a perfect dish to fit her needs. She has been living in a temporary apartment until her new one becomes available in September. Seems this has thrown her into a rut when it comes to eating but the daily 4 flights of stair climbing have increased her muscle mass! I don’t think I’d want to be lugging groceries up four flights, but I guess that is part of the joy of city living.
Give this perfect lemony, grilled chicken with roasted balsamic tomatoes placed on a lemony quinoa cake and topped with creamy, lush burrata cheese a try. It contains all of summer’s favorite flavors in one dish.
Caprese Grilled Chicken on Lemony Quinoa Cakes
Yield: 4 Servings
Time: About 1 hour start to finish
For chicken marinade:
2 lemons, juiced
1 t oregano
1/2 t salt
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
2 pressed garlic cloves
1 T olive oil
2 large chicken breasts or 4 portions
For Roasted Tomatoes:
16 small tomatoes
2 T olive oil
2 cloves thinly sliced garlic
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 t salt
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
For Quinoa Cakes:
2 c cooked quinoa ( I prepare this accoring to package directions but I saute a few T of onion in a T of olive oil. I then add the quinoa and cook according to package directions using chicken broth instead of water.)
1 diced shallot
1 lemon, zested
1 T fresh basil
3 T parmesan cheese, grated
2 t olive oil
2 balls of burrata
Fresh basil leaves
Pound chicken breasts until thin and divide into 4 portions. Combine lemon juice, all seasonings and olive oil for marinade. Marinade chicken while preparing other components. When ready to grill, preheat grill to high an brush grates with olive oil. Place chicken breasts on grate and turn heat down to medium high. Cook about 5-8 minutes on each side.
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare tomatoes by slicing into quarters or slices. Place with all marinade ingredients in an 8″ dish. Roast for about thirty minutes or until vinegar has thickened and turned a bit syrupy. Remove from oven. These are OK kept at room temperature.
Combine quinoa with all ingredients except the 2 t of olive oil. Form into 4-8 cakes. Brush both sides with olive oil and bake for 20-30 minutes at 350. The outsides will be crispy an the insides creamy.
To assemble: Place one quinoa cake on a dinner plate. Top with one serving of a grilled chicken breast. Top with a big spoonful of tomatoes and some fresh basil leaves. Top with buratta. Drizzle with syrup from the baked tomatoes. Be prepared for compliments!
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