Pesto Quinoa Bowls
Dedicated readers will remember two years ago when I wrote about the bounty of pesto we had in our freezer. We had received a large amount from my wife’s parents, so much that it took us three years to use it all! I should be clear that isn’t a complaint, we were able to use it in dozens of meals in that time and it was absolutely delicious.
There is still plenty to go around since we have a small hydroponic herb garden on our window that is currently growing two varieties of basil. One of those types is cinnamon basil, which tastes and smells exactly as you would think it does. I had never heard of it until a few weeks ago but have enjoyed using it so far. Last week I made this tasty dish with some freshly picked leaves.
But anyways, back to the regular basil pesto. I had some quinoa left over from the semolina, cornmeal, and quinoa sourdough I made and wanted to use it in a meal. Side note: I would not have predicted that I would ever just have several cups of dry quinoa lying hanging around in our pantry.
Pesto is one of those great meals that can be put together so quickly and is receptive to lots of additions. This recipe, which came from the great vegetarian blog Orchard Street Kitchen, makes for a hearty meal with additions of white beans, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes.
If you live somewhere that you can have a garden or just have enough space for a pot on the window-sill , I highly recommend growing some basil. Within a few weeks you will have a seemingly endless supply and you can easily freeze what you don’t use. You can make pesto and freeze it or just chop the basil and drizzle it with olive oil before freezing. Enjoy!
- 1 C fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- ⅓ C grated parmesan cheese
- 3 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- ⅓ C olive oil
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1½ C quinoa, uncooked
- ⅓ C sundried tomatoes, drained from oil and sliced thinly
- 1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1.5 C fresh spinach, washed
- 2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Cook the quinoa according to package instructions, adding the apple cider vinegar and ⅛ tsp salt before cooking.
- While the quinoa cooks, make the pesto. Combine all pesto ingredients except the olive oil and combine in a food processor.
- Blend for about one minute, then gradually add the olive oil. Continue to mix until smooth, then add salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, pesto, beans, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle pine nuts over top and serve.