Pesto Week – Wednesday

Dear readers, welcome to pesto week here at A Glass of Milk.  I’m hoping your garden is bursting at the seams with basil, just like K’s.  Since she asked me what to do with all that green, we’re spending the week talking about my favorite herb, and my favorite sauce.  Which also means taking a trip down memory lane.  Enjoy the ride!

I’ve never been one for salads held together by mayo.  More often than not, I’ll find a way (hello Greek yogurt!) to swap it out and replace it with a much more palatable ingredient.  And somewhere along the way I noticed that people were using pesto to hold salads together, where mayo might have been used before.

It works beautifully mixed with chicken and placed in heaping proportions on this sandwich.

It keeps people coming back for more of this potato salad.

It’s fun and different when mixed with spinach and edamame in this perfect weekday lunch option.

And my all time favorite pesto salad is one I invented myself, with quinoa and almonds.  See below.

This above all.

To thine own self be true.

I absolutely love Ina’s green beans with crispy shallots, and find that it will complement just about anything you could dream of putting on your table.  So on a never-ending quest to eat more fruits and vegetables, I turned it into a salad, complete with pesto, toasted almonds, and quinoa. Now it’s a meal unto itself.

Now, I make a big bowl on the weekends, and finish it off for lunch throughout the week.

Know what you love, and build on it.  A simple side dish could become a meal, a salad, a casserole, and who knows what else?

Let yourself get crazy in the kitchen.

To make Green Bean Salad with Almonds, Shallots and Quinoa, for a couple days, you will need:

  • 1/4 C sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 or 3 shallots, minced
  • 1 lb. haricot verts, trimmed
  • 1/2 C pesto
  • 1 C cooked quinoa (or other leftover grain like couscous or barley)
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
  • A couple splashes of white wine vinegar, if you’re into that kind of thing

Saute the shallots in a tablespoon of olive oil till they are crispy, about 8 minutes.  Remove shallots and set aside, leaving oil in the pan.  Saute green beans till nice and hot, and as cooked through as you like them.  For me, that’s about 4 minutes.  Dump the almonds, shallots, green beans, and quinoa in a bowl and toss till mixed.  Stir in pesto and white wine vinegar, if using.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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