Have you ever thought about how cool cheese is? I mean, obviously cheese tastes amazing.
But have you ever thought about how cool it is that cheese can be a solid block, then melt to become oozy and stringy within minutes- seconds even! When its not quite a liquid, but not fully solid.
Ok, I get that this is basic physics. That solid matter, when exposed to high temperatures, can melt. I also get that this probably due to the fat content in cheese. But let’s just forget about the science, and pretend like this is because cheese is magical.
Because it is. Cheese is magical.
In my college town, there was a cheese shop that was widely known- and loved. It’s name is not super original, but it sure is straight and to the point. The Cheese Shop. It has great cheeses, wines, gourmet groceries items, and a completely whimsical sandwich counter. Getting a sandwich there- along with bag of BBQ chips and some fancy lemonade- is one of the most satisfying meals I can think of.
“But how can you eat a sandwich?” you ask.
They have not only one, but TWO bread options for gluten free customers- either Udi’s gluten free bagels or Udi’s white bread. Even more reason to love them.
But back to the cheese…
If you have an appreciation for stringy melty cheese, you will definitely appreciate this Caprese Quinoa Bake (inspired by Half Baked Harvest).
yields 4 (or 3 hungry) servings
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 can diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/3 c. yogurt
1/3 grated parmesan cheese
1 cup sliced mozzarella cheese, divided
1/3 c. grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 handful of fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook the can of diced tomatoes, butter, and oregano on medium-high heat for about 30 min. Add the yogurt.
Take the pot off the heat. Stir in the salt, pepper, parmesan and half of the torn basil leaves. Next, chop half of the mozzarella cheese and mix it in.
Then, add the quinoa and half of the tomatoes.
Spray a 7-9 in. casserole dish with nonstick spray. Spread the cheese-y, tomato-y quinoa into the dish.
Top with the remaining slices of mozzarella and tomatoes.
Bake for 10-15 minutes. Then, turn the broiler on high and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
Top with the rest of the torn basil, and serve.
When you eat it, you will sound like a 5 year old because you will say: