Counter the heat and humidity with this simple summer salad. Quinoa and peas are fabulous plant-based sources of fiber, protein, and iron. Throw in some garden-fresh basil pesto and crunchy radishes, and you’ve got lunch sorted for the next few days.
Quinoa Salad with Pesto, Radishes, and Peas
Vegetarian // Serves 4-6
1 1/2 cups pea pods
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup Cashew Basil Pesto
Cook quinoa in rice cooker, or follow these directions:
Mix quinoa and water in saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for seven minutes.
Fluff quinoa with a fork and set aside.
Remove greens from radishes & set aside (Google what to do with ‘em, if you’ve never tried! Delicious). Chop the dangly ends off, and slice thinly. Remove the peas from pods and set aside.
To make the pesto:
I make this pesto by hand. You can use a food processor if you like, especially if you’re pressed for time. It takes a good 20-30 minutes to make this pesto, but I believe it’s more than worth it.
You’ll want a bigger knife for this. Begin by chopping up the basil, in batches. Some of it will be more finely cut than the rest. Once all of it is somewhat chopped, add half of the cashews and chop for a few minutes. Add the rest of the cashews and half of the cheese, and chop for a few more minutes. Finally, add the garlic and the rest of the cheese, and chop all until it is to your liking. It will not be as fine as store-bought pesto, but that’s the point.
Put the pesto into a bowl, and pat it into a ball of sorts. Pour the olive oil over it. If you have time, you can let it sit in the fridge overnight so the olive oil slowly absorbs into the mixture. If you don’t have time, mix it all together.
This will make enough pesto to freeze. Spoon pesto into an ice cube tray. It should keep for up to six months in the freezer! Voila! You’ll be enjoying your own pesto in December.
Mix the cooked quinoa, 1/4 cup pesto, shucked peas, and sliced radishes together in a bowl or dish. Keep chilled in the fridge until ready to eat. You could add a little lemon juice just before eating to zest it up.
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