Arugula Pesto + Brussel Sprout Shreds

It’s like this, you’re either going to reckon this is the oddest food combo and not sure what to think about it (well a twinkie stuffed with meat would be pretty odd)

OR

you’re going to love it and go buy some brussels immediately (brussel haters might even try it!)

(I love how spellcheck doesn’t know what to do with the word twinkie. I think it’s cause it’s an unidentified object). Just sayin.

Anyhoo, I love me some brussel sprout heads and they’re the underdog during this time of the year, I mean you never hear somebody saying (unless you’re me of course) I can’t wait to shovel those brussel sprouts into my mouth. People don’t usually overeat them either. Well,  I’ve overeaten these little bad boys of health. Not pretty. Soooo, don’t do that.

I’ve always wanted to mess around with the sprouts beyond the usual roasting (p.s. roasting is good too, check out this post for a few options). Why not make a happy combo with my two favorite greens? I have been pondering (favorite big word) the thought of shredding the sprouts forever but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them from there.

So, enter a pile of goodness where veggies are the rockstars and the soba noodles are just the backup singers. (Never had Soba? The Kitchn did a good job describing the difference between the Japanese noodles). 

p.s. This recipe is so meant to be played with (like play-dough or silly puddy).

RECIPE

Arugula Pesto & Brussel Sprout Shreds

Serves: (depends on how many soba noodles you make-safely serves 2).

Time: 30 minutes

Equipment: Food processsor

Ingredients:

  • 6 or more garlic cloves (heck, the more the merrier)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 bundle (1 oz.) uncooked soba noodles

For the sprouts:

  • 6 oz bag of whole, uncooked sprouts
  • olive oil (to taste)
  • pepper (optional)

DO IT:

Pre-Prep

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Shred brussel sprouts in food processor. Set aside.

    Love me some shreds!

  1. Place whole garlic cloves (unpeeled) on a cookie sheet and roast for 10 minutes. At the same time place 1/2 cup of walnuts on another cookie sheet and roast for 6-7 minutes (nuts are not to be neglected, watch em so they don’t burn!).
  2. Remove both from oven and set aside.

Brussel Sprouts: 

  1. Place on a cookie sheet (once shredded) or jelly roll pan and toss with olive oil and pepper to taste. Roast for 10 minutes to start. Toss halfway through. Add on another 5-10 minutes or so if they haven’t quite cooked. Once done, set aside. (I kept mine in the oven while making the pesto).

I just love this pic of the soba noodles.

For the Noodles:

While the brussels are roastin, place 6 cups of water on the stove and heat on high til it’s boiling. Add the soba noodles and cook for approximately 4-6 minutes. Drain.

For the Pesto: (which can be made in advance).

  1. Add walnuts, arugula, garlic and salt to food processor and whirl it all up til a nice pesto-ey pile forms. As processor is processing, add olive oil.
  2. Scrape the sides and bunch it all up in a bowl, then add parmesan cheese and mix to combine. (take a whiff of the utter goodness).

For the finale:

Plate some noodles on something pretty, add some pesto and twirl with a fork to combine, (alternatively you can just add the pesto and soba noodles in a bowl and combine all like one big happy family) then toss some brussels on top and perhaps a bit more parmesan cheese (truffle oil anyone? just a smidge-omg).

ENJOY!

-Jen

Genius Thoughts (I can’t stop myself):

  • Use that pesto as a pizza topper (do I even need to tell you to add it to the squash pizza?)
  • Use the pesto as a veggie dip.
  • Use the brussels as a side dish (p.s. they’re fun to eat-but you might find some in your hair later). I might even toss some maple syrup on them next time if I serve alone.
  • Try other nuts. Pine Nuts are a traditional pesto maker, almonds or papitas would be fun! Mix your greens and try spinach, maybe a little fresh basil or cilantro (just watch the bitterness factor).

Also, don’t forget to subscribe for FREE updates if you like what you see here (top right corner), connect with me on facebook and twitter! I noticed some new lovely people following me on pinterest. It’s quite the addiction now isn’t it?

TELL ME

Are you a fan of pesto? Are you a fan of brussel sprouts? What’s your favorite way to use either? 

It’s all Greek to me. Quintastic Spring Salad.

It's Greek once you toss in some feta and lemons...

Listen up, you can’t NOT like this quinoa (keen-wah) salad.

(I just sounded like a bully-or just a quinoa advocate?)

And the proof is in the puddin cause the hubs eats it.

I know, I’m just as surprised as you that he won’t embrace my tofu chocolate mousse.

Anyway, back to the fun food of choice today. I’ve decided that you should all pronounce it however you want (quinoa that is). While I have the occasional few who correct me (c’mon) I’ll make it very clear here, as clear as that cup of club soda I’m sipping, according to the food lovers companion it’s pronounced keen-wah. But if you want to say keen-no-ah, go for it. Another fun word? Kefir, take a wild guess how that one is pronounced?

So, to those of you who haven’t tried this grain of goodness yet, I get it, it can appear a bit scary. I served it up at the Easter gathering and had a few questionable glances.

I’ve made a few dishes already boasting the cute lil grain so my quinoa kingdom is well on its way, so if you haven’t peaked at this breakfast recipe or this quinlafeburger recipe, you might want to do so-like now, then come back.

I’d love to take credit for the recipe and although I’ve been whipping up and eating this or the traditional version of a Greek salad for years, I’ll give credit to the original recipe creators from My Recipes. (I do tend to leave the shallots out of the recipe, but they pack a great flavor, just don’t settle well with my belly-TMI?).

Healthy, Light, and Filling all in one lil ramekin!

RECIPE

GREEK QUINOA SALAD

Serves: Many people

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked quinoa (I used half white and half red -click link for fun facts and pics of different types of quinoa).
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1/4 cup chopped, kalamata olives
  • 1 cup (or more) sliced, seedless cucumber
  • 1 red + 1 yellow pepper-chopped
  • 1 large handful of arugula or other salad greens (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (more or less) feta cheese, crumbles
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (I add more)
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredient line up

I heart yellow peppers. Peter Piper did pick a peck...or was that pickles?

Methods:

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the package directions (if buying in bulk-heat 3 cups of broth, bring to a boil, add quinoa, bring to another boil, then reduce heat to simmer for approximately fifteen minutes).
  2. Once cooked, remove from heat and fluff the good stuff up! Let the quinoa cool on the stove a bit, then transfer to a bowl and place in the fridge to let it cool.

Meanwhile, chop all ingredients up (preferably while that grain is cookin). From olives, to cucumbers, peppers, etc. to bite size pieces or chunks. Set-Aside.

the more olives the better....yes or no?


  1. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, and sherry vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk a bit. After all the chopping is said and done (this does take a bit of time pending on your knife skills), remove the quinoa from the fridge and pour the dressing into the bowl. Mix well, add salt and pepper to taste and add more olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar if you desire (I always end up drizzling a bit more olive oil and lemon juice cause that quinoa gets greedy and absorbs the oil a bit).
  2. Add all other ingredients (feta, veggies, etc.) to the bowl and toss.
  3. Oh, and those salad greens? I like to serve the quinoa on top of a heaping pile of spinach or arugula but one can also mix it all up together for one big happy SALAD family! 

Perk it up with a bit more feta, olive, veggies and tada!

One hearty meatless meal or salad!

Cooks Tips:

  • You can cook the quinoa the night before so as to save time (I would also make the dressing and toss it up so the flavors mingle overnight).
  • Don’t have sherry vinegar? Try rice vinegar or balsamic.
  • Add avocado chunks for more creaminess. (I’m adding avocado to everything these days…cause it’s like butter).
  • Make it a FULL meal by serving grilled chicken chunks, tofu, tempeh, beans or any other protein source on top or mixed in with the salad (even though we know quinoa is a rock star with its protein quality) sometimes you need or want more to chew on.
ENJOY!
-Jen

What’s your favorite spring or summer salad?

Do you have a go-to recipe you always find yourself bringing to family or other gatherings?