Basil Quinoa with Red Bell Peppers
1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons minced)
2 cups cooked quinoa*
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced green onions
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water to boiling. In a small bowl, combine cold water and ice cubes to make an ice bath. Add the basil to the boiling water; stir once and drain immediately. Place basil in the ice bath to cool quickly. Gently squeeze out any excess water.
Place basil in a food processor. Add Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. Cover and process until nearly smooth.
In a medium bowl, stir together cooked quinoa, bell pepper, and green onions. Add basil mixture; stir to coat. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds.
Note: Look for quinoa at a health food store or in the grains section of a large supermarket. To make 2 cups cooked quinoa, in a fine strainer rinse 2/3 cup quinoa under cold running water; drain. In a small saucepan, combine 1 1/3 cups water, the quinoa, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Let stand to cool slightly. Drain off any remaining liquid.
Pairs Well With