This is such a delicious dish with all of its varied textures from the grain, sauce, crunchy basil and almonds!
This is a perfect fall side dish. I like to serve everything separate so everyone can add as much or little of the sauce, basil and almonds. You can also leave the basil leaves whole or crumble them up on top.
Try this with a nice crisp glass of white Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah or Merlot.
2 – 3 Servings
- Fresh Basil – at least 20 large leaves – 7 – 10 leaves per serving or more – roasted
- Roasted Red Bell Pepper Basil Sauce – 1/2 recipe
- 1 Cup Raw Almonds – toasted
- Heirloom Tomato Black Quinoa – whole recipe
Wash basil, but make sure to dry them completely or they won’t get crispy.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Pick basil off the stems and only use the same size leaves or check on them early and take out small leaves and return the others to the oven.
On a baking sheet spread out basil leaves in a single layer and sprinkle with little olive oil and lightly salt. Gently toss leaves with your hands to cover them in oil.
Put in the oven and bake for 6 – 9 minutes or until leaves turn dark green and become crispy. Make sure to keep checking on them so they don’t burn. Remove from the oven, let cool and set aside
Roast peppers and start the sauce.
While the peppers are steaming pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Toast almonds by spreading out on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes on the middle shelf.
Puree peppers and onion mix in a food processor or blender until smooth
Pour sauce back into the pan and simmer
While almonds are toasting and sauce is simmering, start the quinoa.
Assemble on individual plates or bring everything to the table separately.
*Top with almonds just before eating otherwise they will get soft
Serve with a salad and bread : )
Quinoa is a super food that is extremely nutrient rich and it is a complete protein source and high in fiber, which helps digestion heart heath. It contains more antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients than any other grain. Unlike most grains quinoa has a significant amount of gamma-tocopherol of the vitamin E family, which helps some inflammatory issues. It is a good source of magnesium (helps metabolism, cardiovascular, and blood vessel function, which is helpful for migraine headaches). Quinoa contains the antioxidant flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol even more than in cranberries. It is helpful in regulation of blood sugar and also reduces your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Red bell peppers help fight off free radical cells and help prevent inflammation in the body as well as eye disease. It’s great for keeping the skin healthy and youthful. Red bell peppers are extremely high in the antioxidant vitamins C, A, and beta-carotene. They are also a good source of lycopene and high in fiber. Red bell peppers contain 1.5 times more vitamin C, 8 times more vitamin A and 11 times more beta carotene than green bell peppers.