Monday, August 31, 2009

Two Potluck Offerings (that use Giada's Basil Sauce)

(I replaced the photo of our vacation with the green bean one but seemed to have accidentally erased the quinoa one off my camera. So, enjoy the vacation photo instead!)

Wanted to share two potluck recipes I’ve made while on vacation, since many of you may be gearing up for Labor Day BBQs and the like. As you may remember from an earlier post, I fell in love with Giada’s Grilled Chicken with Basil Sauce that my friend, Christine, made for our Wednesday dinner swap. So, for these two potluck dishes, I simply whipped up Giada’s Basil Sauce and used it for a green bean side, and later for a quinoa salad. The sauce lasts for several days, so I double Giada’s recipe (the doubled recipe is posted below) and keep in on hand so I can use it in various ways throughout the week.

Green Beans in Giada’s Basil Sauce

Green beans, blanched
Giada’s Basil Sauce
Mixed greens (as a base)
Slivered almonds, lightly toasted
Lemon zest, for garnish

Trim the ends off the green beans, blanch them, and then toss in Giada’s Basil Sauce. I layered the platter with mixed greens, drizzled that with a little of the sauce, then put a mound of green beans, and sprinkled them with slivered almonds and lemon zest.

Quinoa Salad with Giada’s Basil Sauce

Quinoa, cooked according to package
Chicken broth (I used it to cook the quinoa, instead of water)
Feta, crumbled
Cherry tomatoes, halved (unless they’re already tiny)
Roasted Peppers, chopped
Pistachios, roasted
Basil, chiffonade
Giada’s Basil Sauce

Toss everything together, and dress with an ample amount of Giada’s Basil Sauce. Serve room temp. Will last several days in the fridge, and you can turn it into an entrĂ©e with the addition of some roasted veggies, grilled chicken or shrimp.

Note: The market out here only had one box of regular quinoa left on the shelf, so I also cooked up a second box of black quinoa (which I had never seen before). The black quinoa was costly, so I probably would just stick to the more easily found regular kind, but it sure was pretty.

Giada’s Basil Sauce is linked here, but for those who like everything in one place, I will copy the recipe below as well:

Giada’s Basil Sauce (makes about 3 cups)

2 cups olive oil
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves
4 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
salt and pepper, to taste

Put everything in a food processor or blender, and pulse until smooth. Store in a tight fitting container, in the fridge, for up to 1 week.

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