Quinoa with Kale & Cauliflower Pesto

Quinoa with Kale & Cauliflower Pesto

This is a bright & light salad that packs a healthy punch. Quinoa actually has a very high protein content (about 8 grams per serving), but you could add garbanzo or cannellini beans for additional staying power. You can also substitute any kale or cauliflower for those listed in recipe.


  • 1 bunch purple kale, stems removed
  • 1 head yellow cauliflower
  • ½ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 t champagne vinegar to taste
  • ½ cup toasted marcona almonds, divided
  • 1 oz cup grated pecorino romano, plus more for garnish
  • 1¼ cup water, divided
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Cut or rip kale into large bite-size pieces and toss with cauliflower stalks, salt, pepper, and olive oil to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes until cauliflower is cooked through, tossing after 20 minutes.
  2. Combine quinoa and 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 16-18 minutes until done. Fluff with a fork.
  3. For pesto, transfer about ⅓ of roasted cauliflower to a food processor with garlic and ¼ cup almonds and puree until chunky. Gradually add olive oil, champagne vinegar, and water until smooth. Blend in Pecorino Romano and season with salt & pepper.
  4. Toss quinoa with cauliflower pesto, roasted kale, and remaining almonds & cauliflower. Garnish with shaved Pecorino.

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