Eat, AllKristinComment

Pesto Tomato & Cucumber Salad

Eat, AllKristinComment
Pesto Tomato & Cucumber Salad

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

To Make: 

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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