One of my very favourite recipes in recent history is adapted from the Arugula Pesto Wheat Berries recipe on 101 Cookbooks. If you like to cook and you haven’t been to Heidi’s website, I suggest you check it out. Heidi started 101 Cookbooks in 2003(!!!) and it has been growing ever since. It is full of lots and lots of gems. Most especially this one.
And doesn’t it look amazing next to my pretty floral arrangement?
If you’ve never made a homemade pesto before, you might find this a little time consuming at first. Trust me, you soon realize its totally easy and totally delicious to make your own pesto. If you don’t think it’s worth it, I’ll give you a dollar. Just kidding. But I will be very surprised. I also promise that after the first couple of times, making your own pesto becomes really easy, and you don’t think twice about it!
This recipe makes extra pesto, which I always use about 1 week later for a quick dinner of whole wheat pasta, and a steamed vegetable. So, it’s like two dinners in one, really.
Arugula Pesto Barley Salad with Fried Tofu
Adapted from: 101 Cookbooks
Serves two (dinner), pesto makes enough for one batch of leftovers.
- 1.5 cups cooked barley
- 4 medium garlic cloves
- 2/3 cup pine nuts (divided)
- 3 cups loosely packed arugula leaves
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 2 big pinches salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup black Kalamata olives, chopped
- 1/2 block of extra firm tofu
- a bit of shaved Parmesan as garnish
Cook barley according to package directions. Once done, remove from heat, and cool just a bit.
Chop extra firm tofu into small, thin pieces and pan fry in a bit of olive oil until crispy. Add to barley and mix.
Meanwhile, make the arugula pesto by combining the garlic, 1/2 cup of the pine nuts, most of the arugula, Parmesan, salt, and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse a few times, and then begin to drizzle the olive oil into the mixture while continuing to pulse until the pesto is smooth. Taste, and adjust if needed with more salt or lemon juice.
Pour about half of the pesto over the barley and tofu mixture, most of the olives, and the reserved arugula. Toss until everything is well-coated. (This makes a pretty strong flavour, taste as you go, to ensure you don’t over dress to your taste!)
Arrange on a platter and top with the remaining olives, pine nuts, and a bit of shaved Parmesan.