QUINOA WITH SNAP PEAS + PUMPKIN MINT PESTO

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To give a little more crunch and toastiness to the pesto in this recipe, I went with pumpkin seeds instead of traditional pine nuts. But who knows? On a different day at the farmer’s market, it could’ve been roasted corn and cilantro pesto, or maybe broccoli with gremolata. 

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INGREDIENTS

For 2-4

1/4 cup fresh mint

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 clove garlic

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for garnish

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 cup parm, grated

1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

also known as pepitas

1 cup quinoa, uncooked (net 3 cups)

1 cup snap peas, halved

DIRECTIONS

To make the pesto, combine the mint, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, parm, and 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds in a food processor. While you pulse it, drizzle in the olive oil until a loose paste forms. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook quinoa per manufacture’s instructions and strain.

Place the cooked quinoa into a large bowl and mix in the pesto. Now add the snap peas and pumpkin seeds. If you’re serving this for a party or want to be fancy, you can blanche the snap peas first (boil them in salted water for 30 seconds then shock them in an ice bath immediately after). This gives them an almost electric hue, seasons them a bit, and makes them slightly more tender. If you’re just enjoying this salad solo, no need to bother – raw snap peas are fine. Mix everything until well combined. Finish with a drizzle or olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.