Earthy colors and flavours dominate this dish. The black quinoa and basil pesto form a mossy earth base for the roasted vegetables, sautéed mushrooms, and pinenuts.
Roasted peppers will be a very familiar ingredient to regular delectabilia readers. The roasted baby artichokes are something new. Together with the baby carrots, these roasted vegetables deliver a wonderful sweet-savory combination that sits so well on the earthy quinoa.
And a wine pairing for this dish? An earthy merlot. No question!
Black quinoa and pesto with roasted vegetables
Black quinoa and vegetables
- 1 cup black quinoa uncooked
- 1/4 cup pinenuts
- 1/2 cup cacao nibs optional
- 1 red pepper
- 1 yellow pepper
- 150 g baby carrots
- 6 baby artichokes and/or
- 2 bulbs fennel fennel is a good alternative if you do not like or want to prepare artichokes
- 150 g shimeji mushrooms
- 2 cups basil fresh, stems removed
- 1/2 cup pinenuts
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Edible flowers
- Shaved truffle
- Add the basil leaves, garlic, and pinenuts, to a food processor. Process until finely chopped.
- Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running slowly, or between pulses of the food processor.
- Add the parmesan cheese and pulse briefly.
Black quinoa and vegetables
- Cook the quinoa in the 2 cups of water. I use a rice cooker. So easy.
- Lightly toast the pinenuts.
- Wash, halve, and trim the red and yellow peppers. Smear with olive oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Roast the peppers in a 200 degC oven for 30 minutes.
- Wash the baby carrots, smear with olive oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Add the baby carrots to the oven with the peppers after 15 minutes, as they will need less time.
- When the peppers have finished cooking and cool a little, dice them length ways.
- After removing the peppers and carrots from the oven, increase the heat to 220 deg C.
- If using artichokes, peel, trim, halve, and remove the furry stuff from the centre. Good video here.
- Add a peeled and crushed clove of garlic to the centre of each half, drizzle with olive oil, and roast for 30 minutes.
- If using fennel, dice the fennel bulb and spread on a baking tray. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Set the oven to grill, and grill the fennel until it starts to char, then remove from the oven.
- Trim the chunky base from the mushrooms.
- Add a little oil to a pan and sauté the mushrooms over a medium heat.
Plating and Garnish
- Stir some pesto into the cooked quinoa, just enough to give the black quinoa a nice mossy look.
- Spoon a serving of quinoa pesto on to a plate. Sprinkle with some toasted pinenuts.
- Arrange the vegetables on top of the quinoa.
- Add the edible flowers and/or shaved truffle and/or miniature basilica and/or dill to add to the garden theme.