Wednesday, March 4, 2009


It is amazing how one's mood is instantly lifted while eating something like this dish. The fresh, juicy taste of the tomatoes, the chewy quinoa and the walnuts, the spinach and basil all work in concert on the palate to mimic summertime. I was feeling like trying some new recipes, and after speaking to my friend Moira about the summer CSA basket from Cooper's Farm - something with their produce as well. I searched (where I always go for inspiration!) and discovered this recipe! I purchased a bag of quinoa quite a while ago but have never got around to actually using it. Perhaps some of my reticence is due to the fact that I have never cooked with quinoa and wasn't too sure what to do with it! Anyway, this is not only delicious, incorporates common produce that you probably have in your refrigerator already (and that I receive in my basket), but is really nutritious and tasty! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!



1 cup quinoa

2 cups of water

1 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

1 tsp Kosher salt

1 clove of garlic, chopped (although I love garlic so much I added 3!)

1 cup of grape tomatoes, halved

5 oz of baby spinach (or regular, chopped)

1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted

1/2 cup Parmesan-Reggiano, grated

1 tbsp basil pesto (optional garnish)

  1. Place the quinoa in a bowl and cover with water. Let sit for a minute or two, and then drain thoroughly.

  2. In a skillet, heat EVOO and add the quinoa. Saute for approximately 10 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and stir for 1 minute, before adding the 2 cups of water and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat, and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed (and don't get all caught up in something like I did, and forget about it causing the quinoa to burn to the bottom of the pan!!!)

  3. Remove the lid and stir in the tomatoes and spinach. Stir until spinach is wilted.

  4. Stir in walnuts and cheese and top with some basil pesto & black pepper.

  5. Serve warm!

This is also very tasty at room temperature as a salad!

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