Tag pesto recipe

Ease into Fall with Parties That Cook’s Toasted Quinoa Recipe

Now that Labor Day has passed, I’m sure you’ve all packed up those white pants, cleared away those grills, and said goodbye to summer. If you’re anything like us, you actually haven’t… are holding onto summer for dear life… might be having trouble welcoming cooler weather and transitioning into fall. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with this tasty side dish that’ll get you excited for the new season. Toasted quinoa, tear drop tomatoes, and an arsenal of herbs come together to create a refreshing dish reminiscent of summer!

Toasted Quinoa with Tear Drop Tomatoes and Cilantro Scallion Pesto
This recipe can also be found in our section of Side Dishes!

1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 1/2 cups water
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoons kosher salt

Cilantro Scallion Pesto (makes about 1 cup):
2 Tablespoons pepitas, toasted
2 scallions (light green parts only), roughly chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems
1/3 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 pint tear drop or cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 lime, juiced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Grated queso anejo or ricotta salata cheese for garnish
1 Lime, cut into wedges for garnish

Wash Quinoa: Place quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water, about 1-2 minutes. Shake briskly to remove excess water. (If you don’t rinse, quinoa will be very bitter). Bring the water up to a boil in a sauce pan.

Toast Quinoa: In a large high sided sauté pan or a Dutch oven that has a lid, dry roast the washed quinoa over medium high heat. Stir constantly until it gives off a nutty aroma and all of the water from washing evaporates, about 5 minutes.

Cook Quinoa: Pour the boiling water over the quinoa and stir in the olive oil and salt. Bring back up to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the lid, stir and let the quinoa dry out for 2-3 minutes more. The germ around the grain should be very apparent.

Toast Pepitas: Toast the pepitas in a dry sauté pan over medium heat until they brown and pop, about 3 minutes.

Prepare Ingredients: Chop the scallions and remove the very end of the cilantro stems. Peel and smash the garlic and juice the lime.

Make Pesto: Place all of the pesto ingredients, except the olive oil, into the bowl of a food processor. Turn processor on and slowly add the olive oil. Scrape the sides of bowl and process again. Taste and re season if necessary. Set aside for use later.

Halve Tomatoes: Cut the tomatoes in half (or quarters if large) and place into a small bowl. Mince the garlic and chop the cilantro, add to the tomatoes. Stir in the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Dress Quinoa: Add the pesto into the quinoa and incorporate well. Gently mix in the tomatoes. Serve quinoa warm or at room temperature, garnished with the grated cheese and lime wedges.

Serves 10

Recipe created by Parties That Cook® | www.PartiesThatCook.com

Parties That Cook Vegetarian Recipe: Polenta Toasts with Red Bell Pepper Pesto and Goat Cheese

Have you ever wanted to be one of the “cool kids”? It’s OK to admit, we can’t all have been Cheerios at McKinley. There’s still time to make the transition, even for those no longer in school. The IT thing to try right now: Vegetarian Food. Parties That Cook is here to help with this recipe for delicious Polenta Toasts with Red Bell Pepper Pesto and Goat Cheese that will give you a whole new view of vegetarian food!

Polenta Toasts with Red Bell Pepper Pesto and Goat Cheese
This recipe can also be found in our Appetizer Recipe Library!



Canola oil for oiling sheet pan and frying
7 cups milk
2 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups polenta (coarse cornmeal)

Red Bell Pepper Pesto:
2 red bell peppers
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, seeds removed and chopped
1/4 cup smoked almonds
2 large cloves garlic
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice plus 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt

7 ounces goat cheese
1 Tablespoon milk or cream
Thyme sprigs for garnish

Polenta: Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Combine milk, salt and butter in a large heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil. Gradually add the polenta, whisking until smooth. Reduce heat to low. Cook the polenta until it is creamy and thick, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Pour out onto oiled sheet, spread evenly so that it is very smooth and flat. Let cool to room temperature.

Red Bell Pepper Pesto: Roast the pepper over a stovetop flame until blackened (or broil in the oven until blackened). Transfer to a paper bag for 5 minutes to steam then peel off the charred skin and remove seeds and stem. In a food processor, blend the peppers, chipotle, almonds, garlic, oil, lemon juice and zest, Parmesan and salt until very smooth.

Grilled Polenta: Using a wet, 2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out polenta circles. Heat canola oil in a large non-stick grill pan or griddle. Cook polenta on one side until golden then flip and cook on the other side. Transfer finished circles to a serving platter.

To Serve: Mix the goat cheese, milk and thyme with a fork. Spoon goat cheese into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Put a dollop of the pesto onto each polenta circle. Pipe a rosette of goat cheese in the center. Garnish with thyme sprig and serve.

Makes 24 Polenta Toasts

Want to try something new, eat delicious food, and learn a few new cooking techniques in the process? Then be sure to check out our first ever Vegetarian Tapas Cooking Class on March 1, 2011! Vegetarian International Tapas (similar to the one above) are on the evening’s menu, though you don’t actually have to be a vegetarian to attend. After this class, you may just be inspired to try Source, a Vegetarian and Vegan restaurant with a much-anticipated opening in San Francisco on March 2.