I made this quick salad for lunch just using some things I already had on hand, and oh my goodness, I haven’t stopped thinking about it since! I just wanted something easy to put together and I ended up with such a winner. Nuts can be omitted if needed.
1 Cup Quinoa
2 Cups Water
Olives (green or black)
½ cup Carrot tops - YES carrot greens are edible:)
¼ cup Basil
¼ cup Parsley
1 tbsp. Pine nuts
1-2 tbsp Walnuts (optional)
1 tbsp. Sesame oil
3 tbsp. Olive oil
Easy Vegan Pesto Recipe:
Finely chop the carrot tops and herbs in a blender or food processor.
Add walnuts and pine nuts and chop again.
Add the sesame oil and pepper and blend.
Add in olive oil until you have a smoother texture, more like a sauce than a paste. (Since sesame oil has a very strong flavor, I decided to use just one tablespoon and then continue with olive oil, but of course you can use more if you like!)
Add salt to taste and your pesto is ready! Set aside to use later.
Easy Quinoa Salad Recipe:
Pour quinoa and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring the heat down to a simmer and cover. After about 10 minutes, the quinoa will be fluffy and finished.
While it’s cooking, you can prep the other ingredients! Slice the olives in quarters and chop the walnuts.
When the quinoa is ready, pour into a large bowl for mixing. Add in our homemade pesto sauce, olives, chopped walnuts, and sesame seeds. (I like to also add a splash of the brine from the olive jar, because it’s super flavorful!)
Mix well and serve warm, or you can store in the fridge as a chilled salad- I've tried both already and it tastes great either way!
Thank you Peyton Chipman for this delicious recipe! Interested in becoming a blog contributor at Veginner Cooking? Contact us!