I like you.

Quick Caprese Quinoa with Homemade Basil Oil I howsweeteats.com

I like quinoa.

I like caprese.

I like chewing basil leaves.

I like… no, I love Father of the Bride. This has nothing to do with anything besides the fact that I’m currently watching it and the scene where George needs 12 hot dog buns is on, but they only sell the buns in packages of 8 so he steals 4 from another package and gets carted off to jail. Hi. Larious. Laugh with me.

I also like salads that barely have any vegetables. They obviously were made just for me. Don’t you agree?

Quick Caprese Quinoa with Homemade Basil Oil I howsweeteats.com

I mean, salads with a lot of vegetables? Uh… no thanks. I’d rather have this.

 

So… remember when I when to Trader Joe’s last week and got a boatload of groceries? Yeah. Then I got sick and all I wanted to eat were handfuls of cereal out of the box and ice cream cones and cinnamon sugared toast? That happened.

And here I am over a week later with a packed fridge of rotting produce. Something obviously needed to be done because I rely on food retail therapy to put a smile on my face every weekend and drain my bank account. Hey – you can’t take it with you.

I got lucky that it was single lady week because this was my dinner Monday night. And it was deeeeelicious. And nutritious!

Quick Caprese Quinoa with Homemade Basil Oil I howsweeteats.com

Aren’t these little mozzarella pearls adorable?? If you ask me, they are much cuter in the quinoa than they are on my kitchen floor. And the mini heirloom tomatoes? Love! So flipping charming that I want to freaking eat them up. Good thing I know what to do with my food. [/donotprint]

Quick Caprese Quinoa with Homemade Basil Oil I howsweeteats.com

Caprese Quinoa

makes about 3 cups worth

1 cup uncooked quinoa

16 oz container of grape tomatoes, quartered

3/4 cup fresh mozzarella pearls (or just buy a fresh mozzarella ball and cut it into chunks)

10 large basil leaves, cut into ribbons

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Prepare quinoa according to directions on box (which is most likely: 2 cups water + 1 cup quinoa, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes). Depending on whether you want your quinoa hot or cold (it’s great both ways) either let it cool completely or immediately add in the tomatoes, cheese, basil, salt and pepper. Drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of basil oil over top and serve!

 

Homemade Basil Oil

from myrecipes

1 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups packed basil leaves (I used 3 handfuls), coarsely chopped

Blend oil and basil leaves in a blender or food processor for 30-60 seconds, just until the two are mix. Pour mixture into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, just until bubbles appear around the edges. Heat for about 5 minutes, the remove from heat and let cool completely. Once cool, pour through a fine mesh strainer and press on the basil leaves to release all the oil. Store in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks – stays fresh best if set in the fridge.

Quick Caprese Quinoa with Homemade Basil Oil I howsweeteats.com

I’m gonna go take a bath in that basil oil. See ya on the flip side.

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121 Responses to “Quick Caprese Quinoa with Homemade Basil Oil.”

  1. #
    1
    Aine @ Something to Chew Over — July 1, 2011 @ 7:05 am

    Basil oil is a great idea, I must try that this weekend as my basil plant is nearly grown up enough for eating!

    Reply

  2. #
    2
    Kim @ The Crunchy Kind — July 1, 2011 @ 7:07 am

    wow, these are my favorite flavors all put together. dinner!

    Reply

  3. #
    3
    Jill — July 1, 2011 @ 7:10 am

    Mmmmm….yummy!!! I’m totally making this.

    Reply

  4. #
    4
    Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga — July 1, 2011 @ 7:11 am

    The biggest picture, with the wood at the top and the plate in the center, fork on left…so cool! LOVE THAT SHOT!

    And caprese salad meets quinoa salad…nice! Thank you for making quinoa salad interesting and delish looking. Have seen soooo many quinoa salads the past week or so in the sphere but no one put mozz balls in them. I love you for that :)

    Reply

  5. #
    5
    Kelly — July 1, 2011 @ 7:12 am

    Jess…looks awesome! And I am with you on Father of The Bride. I think I went through a stage where I watched it every weekend for months on end. Let’s just say that Keith can recite most of that movie as well.

    Reply

  6. #
    6
    Maris (In Good Taste) — July 1, 2011 @ 7:27 am

    Lovely change!

    Reply

  7. #
    7
    Cara — July 1, 2011 @ 7:31 am

    That looks awesome! Basil is my all time favorite flavor and smell, so I completely understand wanting to bath in the basil oil! And Father of the Bride… don’t even get my started! I watched that and Father of the Bride 2 like it was my job when I was younger!

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 1st, 2011 @ 10:29 am

      I might even like 2 better than 1!

      Reply

  8. #
    8
    Kim in MD — July 1, 2011 @ 7:35 am

    Father Of The Bride is one of my all time favorite movies, and I love that scene with the hot dog buns! This salad looks like summer on a plate- yum! :-)

    Reply

  9. #
    9
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — July 1, 2011 @ 7:36 am

    how cute are the little mozzarella balls!!!! i love this…even if it is “healthy” :)

    Reply

  10. #
    10
    Cait's Plate — July 1, 2011 @ 7:38 am

    I LOVE that wooden bowl! And this salad looks amazing. I’m with you – I’d take this over a salad with lots of veggies any day ;)

    Enjoy the holiday weekend!

    Reply

  11. #
    11
    Beth @ Persnickety Hall — July 1, 2011 @ 7:39 am

    Oooooh. This dish looks swoon worthy!

    Reply

  12. #
    12
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — July 1, 2011 @ 7:43 am

    I love EVERYTHING about this! All of my favorite things are included. Yum! Have a great Fourth of July!

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 1st, 2011 @ 10:29 am

      You too!

      Reply

  13. #
    13
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — July 1, 2011 @ 7:45 am

    Awww George! :) I’ve been looking for a good quinoa recipe – this fits the bill! I might even add some white beans?!

    Reply

  14. #
    15
    Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum — July 1, 2011 @ 7:48 am

    Annoying. Wrong link. Last comment.

    http://pinchofyum.com/post/7116457119/cupcakes-with-avocado-buttercream

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 1st, 2011 @ 10:29 am

      Umm… I just spent over an hour on your blog. Goodness gracious I freaking love it.

      Reply

  15. #
    16
    Jessica — July 1, 2011 @ 7:50 am

    I too adore quinoa, but the basil oil is a stroke of genius! Will definitely have to try this combo!

    Reply

  16. #
    17
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — July 1, 2011 @ 7:59 am

    What a great summer meal! That basil oil sounds wonderful!!

    Reply

  17. #
    18
    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat — July 1, 2011 @ 8:08 am

    This is the perfect nutritious meal to bring with me to the lake this weekend! Thanks for the idea!

    Reply

  18. #
    19
    Heather — July 1, 2011 @ 8:10 am

    this looks look a great way to AMP UP (with nutrition and creativity) a summertime favorite for an upcoming picnic lunch :) thanks, lady xo

    Reply

  19. #
    20
    Kristen@PrettySweet — July 1, 2011 @ 8:24 am

    I’ve never made quinoa, but I have a bag sitting in my pantry, waiting for the inspiration to strike. I think this is it. Beautiful salad. And Father of the Bride IS so hilarious. I love Steve Martin and Martin Short together!

    Reply

  20. #
    21
    Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg — July 1, 2011 @ 8:35 am

    Beautiful presentation with this salad! Great idea for summer basil.

    Reply

  21. #
    22
    Gen — July 1, 2011 @ 8:36 am

    Looks delicious!!!!! Grrrr….Brazil has some awesome food, but we don’t have basil!!!! so sad. :(

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 1st, 2011 @ 10:28 am

      Wah! I need to ship you a box of basil and berries, haha.

      Reply

  22. #
    23
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — July 1, 2011 @ 8:45 am

    Yup, my perfect meal. I could probably survive on mozzarella pearls and heirloom tomatoes. :)

    Also…yeah, I need to get on this whole actually seeing Father of the Bride thing. At the moment I don’t think I can call myself an American. Or a girl. Oops?

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 1st, 2011 @ 10:28 am

      You haven’t seen it? WHAT?!?

      Reply

      • Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — July 1st, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

        I know, right? Totally unacceptable. I think that should be my homework for the Fourth of July weekend. I have no excuse.

  23. #
    24
    Rodzilla — July 1, 2011 @ 8:47 am

    I like all those things, especially me. Basil leaves – eh maybe not.

    But really I like that despite your popularity, you comment back more than any other large scale blog I’ve seen. I’ve been wanting to mention that.

    Reply

  24. #
    25
    Holly @ The Runny Egg — July 1, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    I love grape tomatoes — and since tomatoes are fruits there really aren’t any veggies in this salad, no?

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 1st, 2011 @ 10:27 am

      Yes. LOVE it!

      Reply

  25. #
    26
    Jen @ keepitsimplefoods — July 1, 2011 @ 9:01 am

    Looks tasty! Very healthy too!

    Reply

  26. #
    27
    Molly — July 1, 2011 @ 9:06 am

    You’re hilarious. I love when blogger’s personalities shine through their writing! Oh yeah, I guess the food looks amazing too :)

    Reply

  27. #
    28
    Amy W — July 1, 2011 @ 9:10 am

    Ummm…. canwebefriendsplease? That bowl + BASIL OIL. Basil = my favorite thing on the planet. I originally typed “bail” first and though bail would be great if I were to ever go to jail, it’s definitely not my favorite thing on the planet. But basil, yes, basil.

    Reply

  28. #
    29
    Julie H. — July 1, 2011 @ 9:28 am

    Oh how I love that scene in Father of the Bride…. It is one of those movies I could watch 100′s of times and not get sick of watching.
    I love basil and my husband just doesn’t understand. I’m glad there are others that share my true love with basil.

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 1st, 2011 @ 10:26 am

      I DO watch it 100s of times!

      Reply

  29. #
    30
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — July 1, 2011 @ 9:32 am

    After the scene where they meet Frank for the first time and George can’t understand him when he says “cake” the hot dog bun is my fav. I really wish I had a VHS so I could watch it right now. I made my parents buy that movie before DVDs came out!

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 1st, 2011 @ 10:26 am

      Oh my gosh I love that scene too.

      Reply

  30. #
    31
    Jaimee H. — July 1, 2011 @ 9:33 am

    this looks yummy, although can’t stop thinking about your reference to father of the bride…..I did laugh with you when you told me too. I love that scene too, classic.

    Making your brown sugar blueberry cookies this weekend….can’t wait!!!!!

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 1st, 2011 @ 10:26 am

      Let me know how they are!

      Reply

  31. #
    32
    Dishes of Mrs. Fish — July 1, 2011 @ 9:33 am

    When my husband traveled for work, my single lady dinners never looked this good! :)

    Reply

  32. #
    33
    Erica — July 1, 2011 @ 9:34 am

    Perfect dinner! Or lunch! …heck, maybe even breakfast. Those little balls of mozzarella are amazing. Happy weekend

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 1st, 2011 @ 10:25 am

      Same to you!

      Reply

  33. #
    34
    Erin — July 1, 2011 @ 9:36 am

    Making this as soon as I get back from my girls weekend in Arkansas! Especially the basil oil! Why didn’t I think of that??

    Reply

  34. #
    35
    Eliz@The Sweet Life — July 1, 2011 @ 9:38 am

    No chocolate? No frosting? No sugar?! :-)

    Reply

  35. #
    36
    Clare — July 1, 2011 @ 9:39 am

    Ooh this looks so good! I love anything with mozzarella pearls. They’re just so darn friendly looking.

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 1st, 2011 @ 10:25 am

      I know. Love them.

      Reply

  36. #
    37
    Cookbook Queen — July 1, 2011 @ 9:42 am

    Beautiful!!

    And now I’m craving Basil Oil. Weird?

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 1st, 2011 @ 10:25 am

      Never.

      Reply

  37. #
    38
    megabrooke — July 1, 2011 @ 10:04 am

    i loooove quinoa! i have a really great recipe for tabouli with quinoa, if you want it!

    also love father of the bride! fraaaaaaahhhnk!

    Reply

  38. #
    39
    Emily — July 1, 2011 @ 10:16 am

    YUM YUM YUM!! I’m totally making this this weekend!

    Reply

  39. #
    40
    Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food — July 1, 2011 @ 10:29 am

    I have a box of quinoa that is just begging to made into this salad!

    Reply

  40. #
    41
    Sarah - Recipe Love — July 1, 2011 @ 10:36 am

    You rock my world, girl! This sounds PERFECT!

    Reply

  41. #
    42
    Kris — July 1, 2011 @ 10:43 am

    Bingo, bango, bongo!!! LOVE caprese, and am just discovering this wonderful super grain, and cannot wait to make this for our 4th of July Barbie!!!!
    : ) Kris

    Reply

  42. #
    43
    Jenna — July 1, 2011 @ 10:47 am

    This looks really good! I also love salads with more to them than just the usual suspects. I love how you take something traditional, like a Caprese salad, and turn it into something new and interesting with your own twists. Way to be a creative force in the kitchen! I always love seeing your recipes pop up on TK.

    Reply

  43. #
    44
    Laura (Cookies vs. Carrots) — July 1, 2011 @ 10:58 am

    This looks delicious. So fresh! A perfect summer, single-lady meal :)

    Reply

  44. #
    45
    Home with Mandy — July 1, 2011 @ 10:59 am

    Hi chica! Great post, beautiful pictures too. I’ve been a single lady this past week and had similar dinners, but didn’t think to photograph. You’ve inspired me!

    Reply

  45. #
    46
    Jil @ Big City, Lil' Kitchen — July 1, 2011 @ 11:02 am

    Ohh – yum, this looks good.

    Reply

  46. #
    47
    Jesse — July 1, 2011 @ 11:04 am

    you must have known i just box that box of organic quinoa from trader joes and have been stressing about how to use it. hello, another perfect idea from you!
    p.s. that is my favorite scene in father of the bride, i used to rewind it over and over and over again:)

    Reply

  47. #
    48
    Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) — July 1, 2011 @ 11:05 am

    Now this definitely looks like a recipe I need to try. I love caprese salads, and I don’t know why, but I totally feel liek the little mozz balls are way more fun to eat. Might be a good bbq side dish this wkend!

    Happy 4th of July weekend!!

    Reply

    • Jessica — July 1st, 2011 @ 11:22 am

      I agree, so much more fun to eat!

      Reply

  48. #
    49
    Lisa {Smart Food and Fit} — July 1, 2011 @ 11:11 am

    I love caprese salads and the quinoa is a great addition! I could bath in basil oil too! I currently have 3 basil plants in my garden! I want to plant more!!!

    Reply

  49. #
    50
    Christine — July 1, 2011 @ 11:18 am

    This is great. I’ve been looking for new quinoa recipes and I love how this one uses normal ingredients that I can actually find at my local grocery store.

    Reply

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