This salad is dee-licious. You will probably see my walnut pesto recipe featured on the blog quite a bit coming up because I use it a lot in of my recipes.
Typical pesto is made with pine nuts but I swap them for walnuts to get an extra boost of heart-healthy omega-3's. Basil is immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory and thanks to it's natural adaptogenic properties - it even helps fight stress. Nutritional yeast is my favorite replacement for traditional parmesan cheese - it's loaded with B-vitamins (aka the 'happy' vitamin) and it gives a lovely, cheesy consistency minus the dairy. Heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil is a staple in the Mediterranean diet & the Blue Zone in Ikaria, Greece. It contains phytonutrients that reduce inflammation and can help lower your risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer, depression, osteoporosis and more.
Pair this pesto with lycopene & vitamin C filled tomatoes, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial fresh basil, hydrating & toxin-flushing cucumber and mineral-filled arugula with copper, iron, folic acid and vitamins A, C & K.
Makes: Two servings
What You'll Need:
1 large heirloom tomato
4 cups fresh organic arugula
2 organic persian cucumbers
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cups fresh basil leaves (packed)
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1/3 cup organic extra virgin olive oil + 2 Tbsp
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 fresh garlic clove
A few drops of raw honey (optional)
A few pinches of salt, to taste
A few cracks of fresh ground pepper, to taste
For the pesto:
Combine basil leaves, walnuts, olive oil and garlic cloves in your food processor and pulse approximately 1 minute ( you want a smooth consistency). Add nutritional yeast and salt and continue to pulse for another 30 seconds, or until all ingredients are blended smoothly together.
For the salads:
Slice your heirloom tomato into 6 thin slices. Next - using a vegetable peeler, peel thin slices of persian cucumber onto a plate.
Put two cups of fresh arugula on each plate and top each bed of arugula with a slice of tomato, a little walnut pesto & cucumber slices in a stack. Do this three times - each salad should have three slices of tomato.
In a small mixing bowl, combine 4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, a few drops of raw honey and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk with a spoon and carefully pour it over your salad stacks.
Last but not least, top each salad with a small basil leaf. Enjoy!
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