Navy Beans and Arugula-Walnut Pesto on Toast

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My original intention wasn’t to eat this on toast.  To tell you the truth I am not quite sure what my original intention was.  I had this idea on mixing some white beans with some pesto.  So I just did it.  I chose navy beans and decided on an arugula walnut pesto that I just made up.

I love roasted walnuts.  I will say it again. I love roasted walnuts.  If you don’t know what I am talking about go to the kitchen right now, turn on the oven to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, lay some walnuts out on a baking tray, and roast in the pre-heated oven for approx 4-5 mins.  Do not take your eyes off the walnuts after they have been in for 2 minutes.  You will forget about them and they will burn.  It happens so quickly and so easily.  So just be patient and keep your eyes on them.  It won’t take long.  When they start to smell good and change colour they are ready.

you will want to eat these while they are still warm.  They taste so good. Great healthy snack.

Traditional pesto that most of us are used to is made with fresh, incredibly delicious basil but here in montreal during the winter making basil pesto doesn’t really make much sense.  In the summer just head down to Atwater or Jean-Talon Markets to buy huge quantities of fresh basil for next to nothing.  Since we are currently in the middle of winter I chose arugula as my green of choice for this pesto.  mush easier to come by.

I quick roasted a few peeled cloves of garlic with olive oil in some foil in the oven for about 15 minutes just to take the edge off a little.  Raw garlic can be a little strong sometimes.  Added my walnuts, arugula, garlic to the food processor with some olive oil and mixed it all together.  I didn’t use parmesan cheese like traditional pesto but did add some nutritional yeast which is high in Vitamin B12, a vitamin that is hard to come by in the animal kingdom.

Smells and looks awesome.  After a taste i added a little parsley, salt and pepper and some lemon juice to finish it off.

A mountain of cooked navy beans screaming for pesto.  Pesto, Pesto, Pesto!

Et Voila! Ask and you shall receive.  Once I had this made is when I had the idea of eating it on some toasted bread.  Delicious little snack.

I actually ended up turning the rest of this bean and pesto mix into a dip the next day.  I just pureed it in the food processor.

I am including below what I used and the proportions.  In no way is this a perfect recipe.  There is so much you can do with this.  You can try this recipe but I encourage you to play around with it.  be creative.  you can use different kinds of nuts, use other herbs like sage etc.  Once you have created your pesto it’s up to you what you want to do with it.  Have fun and enjoy.

I would love to head about your pesto recipes, so please share your experiences below in the comments section.

Pesto and Navy Beans


2 cups arugula, packed

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup roasted walnuts

3 cloves of garlic, roasted (you can use raw if you like)

1/2 tbsp of nutritional yeast

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

fresh ground black pepper to taste

Olive oil, as needed to obtain desired consistency – start with 1/4 cup

2 cups cooked navy beans


Combine all ingredients except your beans in a food processor except beans and process until smooth.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste.

Mix pesto with beans.

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