Though relatively easy and quick, this dish is packed with unique and bright flavors. The acidity and slight bitterness of the roasted lemon works wonderfully with the nuttiness of the quinoa. Cauliflower really takes on a new dimension of tastiness when it’s roasted, giving it a nice hint of sweetness from the slight caramelization. The feta adds a perfect saltiness without overwhelming the rest of the flavors. Finally, the herbaceous flavor of the thyme really ties the whole dish together.
I particularly loved how healthy this was. Quinoa is high in protein and low in fat, olive oil is chock full of good fats, and the lemon juice has loads of vitamin C. Though cheese is never the healthiest thing on a dish, there is a relatively small amount of feta.
Roasted Cauliflower and Feta Lemon-Thyme Quinoa
Adapted from Bueno Vida
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/8 cup plus 1 tbs. olive oil, divided
1 lemon, thinly sliced
5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup feta, crumbled or roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350º.
On a tinfoil-lined baking sheet, toss together 1 tbs. olive oil, cauliflower, thyme, and lemon slices. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. When done cooking, remove lemon slices and thyme. Pluck 2-3 of the thyme sprigs of their leaves and set aside.
Meanwhile, rinse quinoa with cold water. Bring 2 cups of water to boil. Add quinoa. Turn down to medium low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed.
While quinoa is cooking, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, thyme leaves, and pepper flakes.
In a large bowl, toss together cauliflower, quinoa, feta, and dressing. Serve at any temperature.