elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: pesto

This post is a result of a request from a friend who has great taste in posters. I have a feeling this friend also has an abundance of garlic scapes lurking in her fridge.

Honestly, I don’t remember the amounts. This is really more of a technique. You can adjust the amounts according to your taste. I think this pesto would be great as a bruschetta. 

If you have too much pesto, you can freeze whatever you won’t eat that day.  I used a few tablespoons of it with some angel hair pasta and a bit of the pasta’s cooking sauce. I froze the rest in ice cube trays for future meals. 

Thanks for the inspiration, omnonnombk!


  • Around 5 garlic scapes
  • a handful of basil
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts (You can toast these first if you want to get fancy)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Using a food processor, blend together the first 4 ingredients until well combined, scraping the sides as needed.
  2. Add the parmesan cheese and process again until blended together.
  3. Use the small hole in the food processor to slowly add olive oil while the blender is going. You’ll need to scrape down the sides a few times.


I like to pack my lunch for work, but get tired of sandwiches. As an easy alternative, I will sometimes make a hearty salad to have a few bites of as part of dinner, and then take some to go for lunch the next day. Thanks to Food and Wine magazine’s August 2011 issue for this recipe. You can substitute pretty much any large grain for the Israeli couscous (such as freekah or coarse bulgur). Do you have any other creative lunch ideas? Post them below or send me a message! 


  • 6 cups packed arugula (6 ounces)
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous (12 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pints small tomatoes (cherry or grape), halved
  • 4 yellow or orange tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice


  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the 6 cups of arugula and blanch for 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the arugula to a colander. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking, then drain thoroughly.
  2. Add the Israeli couscous to the boiling water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until it is al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the couscous and spread it out on a large baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss to prevent it from clumping. Let the couscous cool to room temperature.
  3. In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, tossing, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Let cool.
  4. Squeeze the excess water from the blanched arugula and coarsely chop it. Transfer the arugula to a food processor. Add the pine nuts, garlic, cheese, and 1/2 cup olive oil and process until the pine nuts are finely chopped. Season the arugula pesto with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer the couscous to a large serving bowl and stir in the arugula pesto. Gently fold in the tomatoes.