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Quinoa with Arugula Pesto

This pesto has a delicate bitter flavor that goes well in this recipe...or on pasta...or as a salad dressing...or...well, you get the idea.


2 bunches arugula, stems removed, rinsed well, coarsely minced
1 bunch chives, rinsed well, coarsely minced
1/2 cup hazelnuts, roasted and peeled or walnuts
1/2 extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons white miso
2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 cup quinoa, rinsed very well
1/3 cup pine nuts
Pinch sea salt
2-3 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped 

To make the pesto, rinse and prepare the greens and chives. Bring a pot of water to a boil and quickly blanch the arugula, about 30 seconds. Combine with chives, transfer to a food processor and pulse to puree. Add hazelnuts, oil, miso, rice syrup and vinegar. Puree until a thick, smooth pesto forms. Set aside.

Place rinsed quinoa in a sauce pan with 2 cups spring or filtered water. Bring to a boil and add pine nuts and salt. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until quinoa has opened and absorbed water, about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and transfer to a mixing bowl. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons pesto and fresh parsley and serve.


To roast hazelnuts, spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer to a paper sack to steam the papery, brown skin from the nuts. Transfer the nuts to a kitchen towel and rub to loosen and remove skins.

You will have more pesto than you need. Freeze the balance or use in dressings or other sauces. 

Makes 3-4 servings


Vita Bella
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