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Roasted Carrots, Quinoa with Garlicky Sautéed Kale, all Smothered in a Sorrel Pistachio Pesto

Posted Jul 03 2013 5:54pm

After far too many weekends spent drilling and sanding, we've finished the patio table! The weather has been glorious, despite the temporary heat wave, and we have been spending as much time outside as possible, sitting around the table, laughing, sharing stories. Two nights ago I contemplated sleeping in the hammock - to extend my time spent outside - but after a few glasses of wine coupled with the leftover accumulated heat from the day, as thick as haze, a few chapters in to my current obsession - Le Cirque des Rêves, I was fast asleep in my bed, book in hand. To celebrate the birth of our table, we threw a little get together last weekend. The weather did not disappoint, and we were able to spend the better part of the night under the twinkling stars. I prepared a feast of summer salads and veggies, and a pound cake with fresh berries and cream. We sipped strawberry rosemary infused vodka , toasted with champagne, and later rolled ourselves to bed, stomachs full.

I chose two favorite salads to prepare for the gathering. I used some leaves and herbs from the garden, and a few veggies that I picked up at the market that morning. The first recipe, a panzanella  made with fresh tomatoes, olives, shallots, basil, a really good olive oil, and a loaf of crusty bread. The second, a fairly simple green salad with fresh pears, arugula, fennel, walnuts, and cheddar cheese, and a lemony garlic dressing. The third dish, the main entree you could call it, was inspired from from a beautiful meal, and post written by  Kelsey . A post that really resonated with me. This meal, a labour of love, is comprised of a bed of sautéed garlicky kale, quinoa, chives, chillies, and lemon juice, topped with olive oil and salt crusted roasted carrots, smothered in a sorrel and pistachio pesto. 
A few months ago, I picked up some sorrel at the Farmers Market. I was so intrigued with its delightful lemony flavor, I bought a plant to grow on my patio. I've since used it in pesto a few times, and I hear that it pairs nicely with salmon. It's quite difficult to find in the grocer, growing it is probably your best best. Otherwise, you could substitute kale, parsley, or arugula for the pesto. The pesto, which is more of a sauce, is lemony, tart, creamy, and crunchy. It is the most beautiful shade of green, and has an extra wow, once poured atop of the carrots. The carrots, salty and sweet, and the garlicky goodness from the kale and quinoa, a little kick from the chillies. I adore this one. 
Below, I've posted a few photos from last weekend.  A few things and places that I adore. Brent is off for the next 4 days, and we will probably get into a bit of trouble. I've got a cold bottle of bubbly chilling in the fridge, and a freezer full of ice cream. 

inspired by Kelsey
notes: if you can not get your hands on any sorrel, kale, parsley, or arugula can be substituted. 

3 cups chopped sorrel leaves
1 cup pistachios
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper

1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup olive oil4 cups chopped kale
juice from 1 lemon
chopped chives
chili flakes
salt and pepper

2 bunches of carrots
olive oilIn a food processor or blender, add the sorrel leaves and pistachios. Pulse a few times to break up the sorrel. Add the plain yogurt, preferably a thinner style yogurt, low fat or non fat, and the olive oil. Pulse a few times. Begin by adding half of the lemon juice, salt and pepper and then pulse. Adjust the taste to your preference by either adding the rest of the lemon juice, and/or more salt and pepper. Pulse the pesto until a smooth pourable consistency. You may need to add some water to thin it out enough to pour. If you have added water, make sure to taste and adjust seasonings based on your preferences. Set to the side while you prepare the carrots and quinoa.

While the quinoa is cooking, preheat the oven to broil. Wash the carrots and remove their stems. Pat dry and place onto a baking sheet. Drizzle and toss with enough olive oil to lightly coat. Place the baking sheet into the oven and roast until the carrots are tender to pierce with a fork and have formed beautiful char marks on their skin.

Thoroughly wash the quinoa in a bowl of cold water. Drain the water and refill several more times. Strain the quinoa into a medium saucepan and add 2 cups of cold water. Bring the quinoa to a boil on medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer covered until all of the water has evaporated, and you can fluff with a fork. Remove the pot from the heat and keep covered.

In a large frying pan, add 1/4 cup of olive oil, and 2 smashed garlic cloves. Saute on medium heat until the garlic has turned brown. Remove it from the oil and discard. Add the chopped kale and sauté for a few minutes until soft. Add the kale and garlic oil to the quinoa. Season with lemon juice, chives, chili flakes, salt and pepper to your taste.

On a large serving plate, add the quinoa, followed by the carrots, and then smother the whole dish with all of the sorrel pesto. Best eaten then day of.

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