Italian food is a beautiful thing but if are wanting a nice dose of it without the heavy pasta that your body doesn't always love then you need to try this recipe!


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ¼ cup sundried tomatoes
  • 100g Danish feta
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100ml olive or grape seed oil


  1. In a medium saucepan add the quinoa along with 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil then turn heat down to a simmer for 10 - 12 minutes, or unto quinoa opens. Set aside to cool.
  2. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and drop 3/4 of the basil leaves in for 20 seconds.
  3. Drain in a colander and run under cold water for 1 minute so that it doesn't continue to change color. Alternatively you can sit the colander in a bowl of iced water.
  4. Put the basil leaves in a tea towel and roll it up. Ring out excess moisture by twisting then place in a blender with the salt and lemon juice. Turn blender on and gradually add the oil until it all combines, set aside.
  5. Dry roast the pine nuts in a small frypan on high heat for 1 - 2 minutes or until golden.
  6. Turn quinoa saucepan upside down over a mixing bowl and allow to freely pour out. If it is struggling come out, be gentle and use a spoon to release. You don’t want to mix the quinoa too much otherwise it will bruise and become stodgy.
  7. Gently fold in tomatoes, pine nuts, feta and remaining basil into the quinoa.
  8. Transfer to a serving dish, top with extra pine nuts and pour over the basil oil.

From The Healthy Cook by Dan Churchill. Check out Dan's Author Profile for more information & recipes. 

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