by Caitlin Saniga
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and pricked all over with a fork
- 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts, divided
- 2 cups roughly chopped basil
- 1/4 fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- zest from 1 large lemon
- 1 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more if desired
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 1 cup prepared quinoa
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Place the sweet potatoes on a lined baking sheet and bake in a 400-degree oven for 1 hour, or until fork tender.
Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until nuts are golden brown and fragrant.
Prepare the pesto by combine the basil, Parmesan, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and 3/4 cup toasted walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and blend. With the food processor running, pour the olive oil in a steady stream through the intake. Blend until smooth, adding more olive oil if necessary, and seasoning with salt, pepper and more lemon juice if desired.
Toss together the remaining walnuts, pesto, chickpeas, quinoa and dried cranberries.
When the sweet potatoes are cooked, slice them in half lengthwise, mash the interiors with the prongs of a fork, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and fill with the chickpea mixture. Serve warm.