quinoa pesto salad

i whipped up this dish for my usual bunch of girl-friends who came to watch the start of the new germany’s next topmodel (a tv show i’ve grown to love over the years, i admit) season a few weeks back. i guessed there were going to be a lot of sweets involved during the watching. so i deduced a healthy and light start would be more than welcome. since wheat-free was the condition, i opted once more for quinoa. always a good glutenfree ingredient to add substance.
apart from this dish, the inescapable candy after and the obvious fun we were having cheering for (and, occasionally booing at) our favorite model candidates, we also turned my living room spontaneously into a nail-salon. each girl with a different shade and glitter effect. 
it sure felt a bit girly (we used to do mani parties when i was a teenager…). but for some things, one (girl) never grows too old…
quinoa qith cilantro pesto & greens
1 large cup of tricolor quinoa (or just any other plain quinoa), cooked according to directions
1 bunch thai broccoli, blanched for about 3 minutes in salted water
500 g green beans, dito broccoli
1 firm tofu (i used a deepfried one, since i love it’s texture), diced
ingredients for the pesto:
2 bunches fresh cilantro leaves, washed
handful mint leaves, washed
handful thai basil leaves, washed
1 piece green jalapeno
3 garlic cloves
2 drops harissa or sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp. acacia honey
2 limes, the juice
1/2 cup olive oil
to serve:
2 limes, cut into quarters
soy sauce
sriracha hot sauce
cook the quinoa according to directions, then put aside to cool off a little. in the meantime, blanch the thai broccoli and beans for a few minutes only, drain and cool in ice cold water. cut the veggies into stripes. 
combine all the pesto ingredients in a food blender and blend well until you have a rather smooth, green pesto paste. taste, and season with more salt if necessary (i’m alsways surprised to find that pesto needs a genereous amount of salt). now add the pesto to the almost cooled to room temperature quinoa, and combine well. you see: the pesto makes up for the lack of a typical ‘salad sauce’. scatter the greens and the tofu on top and serve, with some more lemon on top, soy sauce (for those who like to add a bit more salt) and som hot sauce to spice things up individually
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