Roselle and Quinoa with Basil Pesto

by Daisy

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Waiting and waiting for the roselle in the garden to bloom.  It seems like it’s taking forever.  Meanwhile, I’ve decided to use the delicious, tart leaves while I’m waiting.  They taste a lot like sorrel, tender with a nice, slightly sour tang.  Nutritious, too, with a healthy dose of vitamins C and A as well as calcium and iron.  Quinoa is a good source of protein, magnesium (good for the heart), and the amino acid lysine which fosters tissue repair and growth. I love the crunchy pop and nutty flavor of quinoa as well.


roselle leaves

Roselle and Quinoa with Basil Pesto

Makes 2 large, entree-sized servings or 4-6 sides

1 cup quinoa, rinsed

1 1/4 cup boiling water

2 cups coarsely chopped roselle leaves (alternately, use mesclun, spinach, sorrel, or other piquant salad greens)

1 med. apple, chopped

1 small to medium red onion, chopped

1/4 cup raisins

juice of 1 lime

extra-virgin olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

Basil Pesto (see recipe below)

Rinse quinoa in cold water and strain through a fine sieve.  Add to boiling water in saucepan.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 12 minutes.  Remove from heat and let sit, still covered, for 5 minutes until all the water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, combine the chopped roselle, onion, apple and raisins together in a large bowl.  Add the quinoa and the lime juice and a generous drizzle of olive oil.  Toss all together until well blended.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Plate individual servings topped with a dollop of pesto.  Garnish with extra basil, if desired.  Store extra pesto (if there is any) covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1/3 cup walnuts

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1/4-1/3 cup olive oil

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and process until a slightly textured paste consistency, scraping down sides as needed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.



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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

CurlysQuilts August 8, 2011 at 11:42 am

I guess I don’t know what Roselle is, but the Quinoa and Pesto sound delicious for sure! It’s good to try new things!

Christine Zipps March 31, 2012 at 11:04 am

Thanks for intro to ROSELLE – hadn’t heard of before! Since I have all ingredients for this using baby organic spinach, will be testing this dish in our Med-Veg Test Kitchen on Monday — thanks SO much for another great sounding recipe — will share on MVF FB page as well!

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