caprese tartMom is always on the bandwagon of the latest “healthy” wonder food. My last trip home yielded me – a ten pound bag of quinoa. Ten pounds! This calls for a lot of experimentation.

Quinoa is a protein-rich grain loaded with more fiber than most other grains. After much trial and error I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t much care for quinoa alone. It’s not a rice replacement, but a vehicle for other flavors. This Caprese Tart with Quinoa Crust is my favorite was of using quinoa.

Caprese Tart with Quinoa Crust

  • 3/4 cup of quinoa, uncooked
  • 1/2 cups water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
  • three large plum tomatoes
  • 8 large basil leaves, cut into ribbons (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (or ready made balsamic glaze)

In a saucepan, bring the water, quinoa, garlic and salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Transfer cooked quinoa to a bowl and allow to cool. When cooled, mix in the egg.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a spring form pan or pie plate. Spread the quinoa mixture evenly across the bottom. Pop in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and increase oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Cut the mozzarella and tomatoes into 1/4″ slices. Layer the slices in a spiral, alternating the tomato and garlic slices, overlapping each. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes more.

While the tart is in the oven, put the balsamic vinegar and a small saucepan and cook until reduced by half. When the tart has finished baking it’ll just be turning lightly golden on top. Remove it from the oven and sprinkle with the basil ribbons. If you used a spring form pan, run your knife around the edge before removing the tart from the pan. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the top.


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