Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pesto Quinoa with Stringbeans and Heirloom Tomatoes

The other day I went strolling through my garden and picked a colander full of veggies that presented me with a challenge.  I felt like I was on an episode of the vegan version of Food Network's "Chopped" as I pondered what to create for lunch from the ingredients in my basket.

With stringbeans, basil, and a tomato, the logical solution would've been some kind of pasta primavera, and even though I would probably eat that every day if I could, I wanted something a little different.  I decided to make quinoa the centerpiece grain since it's high in protein and I didn't want to open a can of beans for one serving.  And I also decided I wanted something cool, so "quinoa salad" was the operative term for my lunch mission.

When I looked in my fridge I found a half of a lemon, fresh parsley, scallions, and some walnuts, so instantly I decided I'd turn the basil into a pesto.  Then it all came together almost as instantly as the quinoa cooked.  I blanched my stringbeans, cut up the tomato and scallions, and piled them on top of the quinoa.

Then I tossed everything together into a lovely red-green-white confetti-like concoction.  Not only were the colors complimentary, but so were the tastes.  The sweet, creamy tomato and the sharp garlicky pesto melded and mellowed nicely when tossed with the quinoa.

In about 20 minutes I had a perfectly delicious and satisfying lunch to enjoy while sitting in the hot sun out on my back deck.

And here's a closeup (cause we foodies adore our closeups):

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