Quinoa with Spinach & Parsley Pesto

Brightly flavored and brilliantly emerald green… not bad for an improvised “Plan B” meal! There’s nothing quite like basil, but this was spot-on with its distinctive pesto flavor, and chock full of spring goodness. Perfect accompaniment to the gold and magenta of the leftover soup (beets, carrots, potato, purple daikon, kale, corn, white beans, and herbs). Yum!

I didn’t measure anything but the quinoa as I was making this, but I’ve my best to approximate. Couldn’t be happier with how it turned out!

UPDATE (7/10/18): Mint, kale, cilantro, summer squash, garlic scapes, sunflower seeds, and quark — olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper are a given, of course — make a bright mid-summer pesto that is great mixed into quinoa or brown rice, or spread on bread with fresh tomato slices. (It’s also pretty dang fantastic in a sandwich with peanut butter. Crazy but true. Really. While I’m on the topic, peanut butter and cheese, and peanut butter and tomato, and peanut butter and black beans are also awesome “roads less traveled.”)

Spinach & Parsley Pesto
(Made enough to generously mix into a large bowl of quinoa, with some to spare)

1 produce bag full of spinach
1 produce bag full of parsley
2 heads garlic, peeled and sliced
About a cup of walnuts, toasted in a pan
Generous drizzle of olive oil, maybe 2-3 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Generous drizzle or two of lemon juice, maybe 2-3 tablespoons, to taste
Handful or three of asiago cheese, or parmesan if you have it (optional)

Saute garlic, then blend along with toasted walnuts in food processor. Add parsley, olive oil, salt, lemon juice, and cheese and process again. Tear spinach into smaller pieces and add to the food processor as well in batches, blending between each one. Adjust to taste and enjoy!

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