Arugula & Green Bean Salad


Earlier this summer we added two more raised beds in our backyard with drought-conscience drip lines. We even built hoop houses around the beds to extend our growing season and it paid off. The arugula, kale and mixed greens in my garden are already growing like crazy. This inspired my favorite summer spread, arugula pesto. You can use it for pretty much anything. This recipe uses the arugula pesto to add a little flavor to a cold quinoa salad. This recipe is quick, easy and packed full of protein and deliciousness.

Arugula, Green Bean & Quinoa Salad arugula pesto, green bean & quinoa salad
Makes four servings

Arugula Pesto
3 cups of arugula
1/2 cup toasted almonds
1 garlic clove
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup shredded parmesan

Place the arugula, almonds, garlic and lemon juice into a food processor and pulse until it makes a paste. Add the cheese and slowly pour in the olive while pulsing on low until it becomes a smooth pesto. Add more olive oil if needed. Set aside until ready to use. Refrigerate any unused pesto.

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 lb green beans
1/4 cup arugula pesto
8 oz fresh mozzarella
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, rinsed

Heat the oil in small pot over medium heat, sauté the onion and garlic for 1-2 minutes. Add the salt and quinoa, cook for another three minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. When the quinoa is done fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

Remove the stems from the green beans and cut them into 1 inch pieces. Bring a separate pot of water to a brisk boil and cook the green beans for 3-5 minutes (I like my green beans extra crispy so I only cooked them for 3 minutes). Drain and set aside to cool. While the quinoa and green beans are cooling, cut the mozzarella into small cubes, slice the tomatoes in half. Add the mozzarella and tomatoes in a bowl with the chickpeas and cooled green beans and toss with desired amount of pesto until well coated.

Serve the green bean mixture on a bed of the cooled quinoa, season with pepper and enjoy! You can drizzle a little balsamic vinegar if you like, but this dish is good the way it is.

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