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Big Green Salad w Tomato-Pesto Vinaigrette.JPG

Big Green Salad with Tomato-Pesto Vinaigrette

Active Time: 20 minutes / Cook Time: about 5 minutes / Total Time: 25 minutes

Makes 2 servings, with leftover pesto for Days 4 and 5


  • For the Tomato Pesto: (makes about 1 ½ cups)
    • 2 small cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    • 2 lightly packed cups fresh basil
    • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted*
    • ½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes (reserve the rest of the pint for Day 7**)
    • ¼ cup grated parmesan OR pecorino romano cheese (to keep it vegan, use 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast instead of the cheese)
    • 2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, depending on desired consistency
    • juice of a lemon, to taste
  • For the Salad:
    • 1 tablespoon ghee
    • 8 oz. Portobello mushroom caps, cut into 1/2” thick slices
    • 1 ½ hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped
    • 1 small zucchini, chopped
    • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
    • 4 artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • To make the vinaigrette:
    • 1-2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
    • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Add the garlic to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the garlic is minced.
  2. Add the basil and almonds and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the tomatoes and cheese and let the processor run until the mixture is smooth.
  4. With the processor running, drizzle in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Check consistency and add up to 2 more tablespoons, if desired.
  5. Add lemon juice to taste, and set pesto aside.
  6. Melt ghee in a large skillet. When sizzling, add mushrooms cut-side down. Cook without disturbing until the bottoms are golden-brown, 1-2 minutes. Flip and repeat.
  7. Toss the lettuce, zucchini, cucumber, and artichoke hearts together in a large bowl. Set aside.
  8. Remove ¼ cup pesto from the processor and place in a medium bowl. Whisk in 1-2 tablespoons vinegar, to taste. Whisk in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, to taste.
  9. Toss vinaigrette with salad in the bowl.
  10. Place ½ of the salad on each of two plates, top each with half of the mushrooms, and serve.
  11. Package the remaining pesto in an airtight container with plastic wrap pressed down on the surface of the pesto to help prevent browning. Refrigerate until needed.

*To toast nuts, add to a small skillet over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until the nuts take on a golden color and start to smell “nutty.” Watch carefully; they burn quickly.

**Normally, we would suggest not refrigerating tomatoes. It does nothing to help their texture or flavor. But since you’re going to roast them on Day 7, go ahead and refrigerate so they hold up better for the week. Roasting will help deepen their flavor, and their texture in this preparation will not matter.