YIELD: 6 servings
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
- 3/4 cup low sodium vegetable stock or water
- 2 tablespoons of shallots, minced
- 1 tablespoon of high heat oil such as coconut oil, safflower oil, or ghee
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons of hazelnuts, roasted and chopped, plus more for garnish
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup feta cheese – optional
- 3 ripe but firm pears
- Salt and pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make the quinoa; rinse and drain the quinoa thoroughly and place in a medium sauce pan with the stock, or water with a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- While the quinoa is cooking; heat the oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 5 minutes or until they begin to brown, add the garlic and rosemary and cook for another minute to soften. Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.
- Add the cooked quinoa, cranberries, lemon zest and hazelnuts to the bowl and mix to combine. Mix in the feta cheese if using. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.
- Prepare the pears; line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Cut each pear in half lengthwise, make a well in the center of each pear half by scooping out the core and some of the pear flesh, rub each cut side with half of a lemon to prevent browning. Cut a small slice off at the bottom of each pear half to prevent them from rolling around. Place the pear halves on the cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until the pears have softened, but retain their shape. Put a heaping scoop of the quinoa mixture in each pear half, pressing down gently to compress it, return pears to the oven and baked for another 10 minutes or until the quinoa is heated through.
- Garnish with chopped hazelnuts and fresh rosemary if desired. Serve warm.
Try changing up the flavor profile by using different combinations of dried fruits and nuts, such as dried apricots and pecans or dried figs and walnuts. Or switching the rosemary for sage or thyme.