Ancient Grains, Legumes and Bountiful Veggies in Tarragon Pesto


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, thoroughly cleaned and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery root
  • 1 1/2 cups fennel bulb, quartered, cored, and cut into thin julienne
  • 3 cups baby portobello mushrooms, also known as crimini, halved then sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted red pepper, either from a jar or freshly roasted under the broiler, seeded, then cut julienne
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked cannelini beans,low sodium canned, drained and rinsed or cooked from scratch
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, salted
  • 8 ounces gluten free ancient grain pasta
  • 1/2 cup raw pistachio nuts
  • 1/3 cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh tarragon, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups arugula leaves


  1. Put a large pot of lightly salted filtered water on to boil for the pasta.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek, celery root and fennel and cook over moderate heat until they soften, about 15 minutes. Stir often and take care not to burn the leek with the heat too high.
  3. Stir in the mushrooms and bell pepper and allow to cook an additional 8 - 10 minutes. Add the cannellini beans and cherry tomatoes, turn down the heat and just keep the ingredients warm while you cook the pasta.
  4. Cook the pasta until aldente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
  5. While the pasta cooks, chop the pistachios in a small food processor until finely ground. Add the parsley and tarragon and blend until almost smooth, using the pulse option and scraping down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients evenly. Add the olive oil and lemon zest and pulse again.
  6. Scrape the "pesto" into the skillet with the veggies, rinse out the processor bowl with the reserved pasta water and add it to the veggies along with the pasta. Stir to combine all ingredients with the pesto. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.
  7. Measure 1/2 a cup of arugula into each serving bowl and top with 1 1/2 cups of the pasta/veggies/legumes and serve.


  • Dinner
  • Side Dish
  • Plant-Based Protein
  • Vegetable
  • Dairy Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • MHealthy

Nutrition Information

Serving Size
1 1/2 cups
Saturated Fat (g)
Sodium (mg)
Total Carbohydrates (g)
Dietary Fiber (g)
Protein (g)