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. #
    Sues — July 1, 2011 @ 11:29 am

    I like/love all of those things, too :) This looks glorious. And I LOVE that Father of the Bride is one of the only movies that has an absolutely amazing sequel, too!


  2. #
    Kristen — July 1, 2011 @ 11:31 am

    I think this will be on my 4th menu. Thank you!


  3. #
    Heidi @ Food Doodles — July 1, 2011 @ 11:49 am

    That looks beautiful!! I can’t get enough of basil, that is like the most amazing flavor. Yum!


  4. #
    Ashley — July 1, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

    The last photo is precious!!! I LOVE IT!!! And I want to eat it. NOW.


  5. #
    Krissy @ Make It Naked — July 1, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

    Yum! We have SO much basil it’s taking over! Can’t wait to make this. I just linked to my caprese quiche as one of my fav recipes – you’d love it – there’s bacon in the crust :) Thanks for a great idea to use up some of our basil! I’m going to put this oil on everything.


  6. #
    alyssa — July 1, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

    Wowza I can’t wait to make this to satisfy my quinoa obsession! Looks so great.


  7. #
    Katie — July 1, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

    “Some big shot over at the wiener company got together with some big shot at the bun company and decided to rip off the American public!”

    Father of the Bride is my favorite!!! If it’s possible, I love you even more than I did before this post.


  8. #
    Zezelia — July 1, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    Yummerz! This will be my very first attempt making quinoa myself. Thanx!


  9. #
    Lara — July 1, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

    I think I just heard a certain Pioneer Woman faint somewhere. :P


  10. #
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — July 1, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

    OMG! I love that scene from Father of the Bride! I have never been able to buy hot dog buns the same since!


  11. #
    Baking Serendipity — July 1, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

    Basil oil sounds fantastic! I think I need a single lady dinner like this one….right now.


  12. #
    Parita — July 1, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

    I love finding new and different ways to use quinoa. This looks so delicious! Love it!


  13. #
    Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking — July 1, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

    That looks SO healthy and so delicious! I love the fact that I’m not killing a basil plant now, so we’ll have to give this a try.


  14. #
    Brit — July 1, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

    If you like quinoa salads, you should try this one called Corn-Quinoa Salad…it’s one of my absolute favorite meals particularly in summertime… http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/11335?section=


  15. #
    Sarah — July 1, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

    Know what would be amazing in that? Bacon.


  16. #
    chely — July 2, 2011 @ 12:48 am

    OMG, I too love caprese and quinoa!!! I’m making this tomorrow :)


  17. #
    marla {family fresh cooking} — July 2, 2011 @ 11:32 am

    Love this quinoa!


  18. #
    Mandy — July 2, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

    I’ve never had quinoa, and have been a little hesitant to try it, but this recipe looks incredible! I’m trying the basil oil asap!


  19. #
    Lay the table — July 2, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

    Great recipe – quinoa is so damn tasty!


  20. #
    Jen — July 3, 2011 @ 9:11 pm

    Made this last night (for today) and it was really good! Next time I plan on adding a splash of balsamic….


  21. #
    bridget {bake at 350} — July 4, 2011 @ 9:30 am

    Oh, I love Father of the Bride, too! It’s one of the few movies I can watch over and over again…

    Thanks for the recipe!!! Have a happy 4th!


  22. #
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — July 5, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    Caprese is one of my favorite salads… Love the addition of quinoa. Yum :)


  23. #
    Cyndi — July 6, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

    i looove this! made it to take with me to work for lunch! thanks!


  24. #
    Wendy — July 7, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

    I made this for dinner last night, had it for lunch today, and it is dinner again tonight. It is OMG-Delicious!


  25. #
    Amelia — July 7, 2011 @ 11:03 pm

    Are you sure you created this recipe? It seems way too healthy to be in the mix of sweets around here. As soon as my kitchen is up and running, I am moving this to the top of my list of bookmarked recipes to make.


  26. #
    Mike — July 8, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    This recipe looks unbelievable, I’m gonna try it really soon.
    I recently wrote an article on the health benefits of quinoa, check it out.


    Mike @TheIronYou


  27. #
    Kelly — July 10, 2011 @ 9:34 pm

    Just made this for dinner….DElish!!! Love to fund yummy ways to eat quinoa. Thanks!


  28. #
    Cassie — July 11, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

    Please please please post more recipes with quinoa i loved this one.


  29. #
    Tracy — July 17, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

    Lovely salad! Bookmarking this for when I have single lady days too. ;-)


  30. #
    Suzy - Sudden Lunch — July 25, 2011 @ 5:39 am

    I just saw this on What Megan’s Making and having just discovered and really like quinoa I am drooling!


  31. #
    Amanda — August 14, 2011 @ 6:45 am

    I didn’t make the basil oil. Without it, it was still delicious!!!!


  32. #
    Tamara — August 9, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

    I made this last night for dinner. So easy and surprisingly rich and delish! Thanks so much.


  33. #
    chris — August 18, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

    Just made this. No meal. Just because. Friggin’ awesome!


  34. #
    A. Demarest — September 25, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

    Oh my gosh…. I’ve read three of your blogs and each one has had me roaring with laughter.. Needless to say you and I are now immediate friends and I keep sending my sister all the hilariousness. You crack me up!!!! Thanks for being funny and for knowing good food!!!!


  35. #
    peaceloveandsmoothies — June 5, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

    That looks great! I have been wanting to try quinoa.


  36. #
    Sarah — August 5, 2013 @ 1:42 pm

    I had to repost this! It was soooooo good! My hubby actually ate tomatoes!! You are right about that basil oil. Draw me a bath of it please.



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