My husband and I recently returned from a fabulous trip to San Francisco! It was wonderful! We joked that our trip was all the of the fabulous meals that we ate with a little sightseeing in between. Every meal was wonderful! I will try to recreate some of the dishes we had during our trip and this is one of them. There is a great cafe called Brioche Bakery and Cafe that is located between North Beach, Chinatown and the Financial District. They served amazing pastries, salads, coffee, sandwiches and bread. We went there three times during our trip because we loved it so much!
We had salad that was similar to this one but had mint instead of basil and had couscous instead of quinoa. While this is not exactly what they served nor is it a recreation of what they served, it is inspired by what they served. I will be posting various dishes that were inspired by our dining experience at this wonderful place with friendly service, wooden tables, baskets or bread, delicious coffee, with Julio Iglesias or Gypsy Flamenco Rumba music in the background.
Ingredients for the Salad:
1/4 cup Fresh parmigiano regiano cheese, grated
3-4 fresh basil leaves
Garbanzo beans/chick peas (2 cans)
1 cup of cooked quinoa (follow package directions)
2 cloves of garlic
1. Place garbanzo beans on a jelly roll pan or pyrex dish, add olive oil to coat, roast at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Add crushed garlic coated in olive oil and roast an additional 5 minutes. (If you like your garbanzo beans crunch, roast for longer. I like them softer and crunchy).
2. Cook quinoa according to package directions. You will need about 1 cup of cooked quinoa for the salad.
3. Place chopped salad greens, carrots, cheese, basil and quinoa in a serving dish or large salad bowl.
4. Add roasted garbanzo beans. Add pesto dressing. Toss to coat and serve.
Ingredients for the Pesto:
Fresh basil leaves (4 cups)
1 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
* My son is allergic to tree nuts so I did not add pine nuts to the pesto. I did roast the pine nuts on the stove on a saucepan on medium heat for 5 minutes and placed them in bowl for the rest of us to add on the salad.
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree.