Earthy colors and flavours dominate this dish. The black quinoa and basil pesto form a mossy earth base for the autumn colored roast vegetables, sautéed mushrooms, and pine nuts.
Regular visitors to this site will be familiar with roasted peppers. These are definitely one of my favourite ingredients. However, 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 nutty earthy quinoa.
An appropriate wine pairing? An earthy merlot of course. 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.