Hazelnut Pesto Quinoa Salad
I know, I know – what’s with all of the hazelnuts?? Clearly, I went out of control in bulk section and perhaps it’s true that I have an overabundance of roasted hazelnuts just waiting for me to use them. Maybe. Something similar may or may not have happened with nutella. But, I digress. Every time I make pesto I remember how much I really love it. Really love it. I have to thank my friend Angie on this one. I think my love for pesto came from her amazing pesto. Which reminds me…I need to concoct some sort scheme that gets her to make pesto…it’s been too long (or I could just ask her). I also need to work on getting her to do it twice a year.
Anyway, using hazelnuts instead of the tradition pine nuts (for the pesto) didn’t make a gigantic difference. If anything, hazelnuts add more flavor but, obviously, I’m biased (recent hazelnut addiction). Did you know hazelnuts are the second most healthy nut? I read that somewhere. It has to be true. I want it to be true. Actually, I’d rather see hazelnuts go number one but we can’t have it all, can we?
This little salad is the perfect storm my current favorite foods – hazelnuts, pesto, quinoa, and grilled corn. And it’s good cold or hot. And, it can be served on its own or with a more traditional main entree. Please remember that our friend quinoa is packed with protein so a traditional “main dish protein” isn’t really required.
Finally, I’d like to note that my little cherry tomatoes are from Mexico. I’ve been reading on a few blogs about something called slave labor tomatoes. I hadn’t heard about this before. Thus, I’m reading up. Until I learn more, I am changing the name to conflict tomatoes. Seems more urgent. Kidding aside, if anyone has some legitimate information on this issue, I’d love to get my hands on it. Until that time – ENJOY!
2 cups quinoa, cooked (I used the red version but you can use whichever color you wish)
2 cups fresh basil
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup of parmesan cheese
1/3 cup of hazelnuts, roasted
4 garlic cloves
salt and pepper for seasoning
2 corn on the cob, grilled, and kernels removed from cob
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved
1. Cook quinoa accordingly to package directions taking care to rinse the quinoa first. Usually the cooking instructions are equal ratio between quinoa and water.
2. If you don’t know how to roast hazelnuts, click here (sorry about the photo on that page…not the best).
3. Toss the roasted hazelnuts in the food processors and process until coarse.
4. Add your basil, olive oil, garlic, and parmesan to the hazelnuts and process until desired consistency - almost smooth.
5. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. You should have about a cup of pesto at this point.
6. Combine your pesto with the quinoa and mix in the tomato halves and grill corn.
Dinner is served!