Does anyone else agree that tomatoes and basil were just meant for each other? Combine them and the taste just screams summer.
Over the winter I don't keep fresh basil around unless I need a lot for a recipe. Instead I use the basil paste that comes in a tube -
Have you tried it? I love it! Each tube has the equivalent of 3 bunches of basil and is guaranteed fresh for 3 months when kept in the fridge.
This tube of basil and a container of grape tomatoes in addition to my desire to eat a healthy lunch were my inspiration for this dish. I always turn to quinoa when I want something both healthy and filling.
To really infuse the flavor of the basil through the dish, I cooked my quinoa in a tomato-basil broth.
Tomato-Basil Quinoa with Spinach and White Beans
- 1 c dry quinoa, rinsed
- 3 c vegetable broth (note, this is more than you usually need to cook 1 c of quinoa, but we are also cooking the tomatoes and beans in the broth)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 oz canned white beans, rinsed
- 1 Tbsp basil paste from the tube (or several leaves, chopped)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 oz fresh baby spinach
- Optional: 2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Timing is important on this - you want to start your quinoa and step 2 simultaneously. Once step 2 is done it will be time to add your quinoa to the tomato mixture.
- Combine quinoa and broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer.
- At the same time, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onions; sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes, white beans and basil; sauté 3-4 minutes.
- Pour the pot of quinoa and broth into the tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper and let simmer until the quinoa has cooked through, about 10-12 minutes. You may need to add a bit more broth to finish cooking the quinoa if the broth is absorbing too quickly.
- Once the quinoa has finished cooking, add the spinach and stir to wilt.
- Optional: stir in some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or cheese of your choice.