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Sweet & Sour Georgia Pecan Pesto Salad



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1 1/2 cup Georgia pecan halves, divided
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
3 large garlic cloves
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. honey
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp. olive oil
10 oz. salad greens of your choice
1 cup raisins
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste


  1. 1
    Preheat oven to 250°F. Place Georgia pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 10 - 15 minutes or until they deepen in color. Set aside.
  2. 2
    Rinse the quinoa in a strainer under running water and let drain. Place in heavy saucepan or pot and let toast slightly over low heat, about 3 - 4 minutes. Add 2 cups water to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is done, 10 - 12 minutes.
  3. 3
    Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. 4
    In food processor or blender, place 1/2 cup of the Georgia pecans, basil and garlic. Pulse until well combined. Add lemon juice, honey and balsamic vinegar and pulse until combined. With processor running, slowly add in olive oil until pesto thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  5. 5
    In a large salad bowl, toss together salad greens, quinoa and raisins. Toss with 1/2 cup of the pesto, adding more as needed. Top the salad with the remaining whole toasted Georgia pecans and serve.

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cuisines North & South American
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