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  • Writer's pictureSusie Csorsz Brown

Quinoa Bowl with Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Eggplant and Tahini

I know, the world needs another grain bowl recipe like they need a hole in the head, but this one is tasty. You can use the tahini dressing for other things, too, like a dip for veggies or other bowls, or with falafel. But the best part about this is probably the eggplant. Or maybe it’s the combination of the crispy Brussels sprouts and the lemony eggplant and creamy sauce ... I don’t know. What I know for sure is that really, once the veggies are in the oven, you can get everything else together really quickly.

This is the perfect recipe for when you have multiple hands helping in the kitchen. You can give a each person one of the components to work on, making it a team effort. I find that when I incorporate the kids in any new recipe creation, they tend to be more positive about trying them. My youngest and eggplant are not always happy companions; having him take part in preparing a dish with it is helping him to be a bit more amiable towards this poor maligned food.

Quinoa Bowl with Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Eggplant and Tahini


1 pound brussels sprouts, cleaned and trimmed (halved if they’re larger than 1 inch)

4 small onions, cut into wedges

1 ½ pounds eggplant, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

Extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

1 cup quinoa

1 T olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

Large pinch of aleppo flakes, plus more for serving


2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed

1 garlic clove, finely grated or minced

¼ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons tahini

1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar

Tomato salad

2 plum tomatoes, diced

1 T olive oil

salt and pepper


Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare the veggies and grain: Place the brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet, and the onions on another (for easy clean-up, line the pans with foil). Toss all vegetables with just enough olive oil and salt to coat. Roast brussels sprouts for 30 minutes or until browned and crispy. At the same time, toss onion wedges with a bit of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast onions for 15 minutes, and then add eggplant. Toss again and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until vegetables are browned and tender. Toss vegetables once or twice while roasting.

While vegetables are in the oven, make the quinoa: Rinse quinoa, if necessary. In a medium saucepan, toast 1 cup quinoa in 1 T olive oil. Toast quinoa stirring often, until it starts to smell toasty. Add 1/2 tsp salt, and then slowly add 2 cups water. Be careful because the hot seeds will pop around as the water is first added. Bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer for 15 minutes, until the grains soften and water is mostly absorbed. Cover and set aside until all of the water is absorbed.

While veggies are roasting, in a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the Aleppo pepper flakes. As soon as the eggplant is done, drizzle the mixture on the warm eggplant, and toss immediately. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Make the tahini dressing: Whisk together lemon juice, garlic and salt in a medium bowl. Let sit for 1 minute, then slowly whisk in oil, a few drops at a time, until emulsified. Whisk in tahini and enough water (by the teaspoon) to make a thin pourable sauce; taste and add more salt and lemon juice if needed. Set aside.

Make the tomato salad: In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To serve, scoop quinoa in four bowls. Divide brussels sprouts, eggplant and tomatoes among the bowls, mounding the vegetables next to one another on top of the quinoa. Generously drizzle tahini dressing over the bowls and garnish with aleppo flakes. Enjoy!

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