Roasted Beet & Quinoa Salad with Arugula Pesto

Roasted Beet & Quinoa Salad with Arugula Pesto

Arugula pesto, you are one of my new favorite things.  

Sidenote: Arugula is also known as salad rocket, garden rocket, or simply, rocket.  Doesn’t that make you laugh?  What a funny name!  Apparently this name is due to arugula’s lightning-fast growth rate.  It makes me wonder if even I, Allison of the Black Thumb, could grow it.  But then, a plant that is fast-growing doesn’t necessarily make it an easy-to-grow plant.  And by easy, I mean that the said plant has to be able to survive and thrive through drought and intrusion of weeds, aka a general neglect on the part of the gardener –>me.  

Pesto is a genius creation, don’t you think?  Basil, which can have sweet, floral undertones is way different than arugula but substituting arugula is just as good.  Instead of sweet and floral, you get grassy and peppery, which works very well with the earthiness of roasted beets.   Adding arugula pesto to some quinoa and beets makes a salad that is a fantastic combination of grains, vegetables, and nuts.  I first made this with barley instead of quinoa, and I loved it with barley too, but if you are gluten free, quinoa works just as well as is pictured here.  

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