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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