Arugula Salad with Balsamic Pesto Dressing

Sometimes I have a clear vision for what I want to talk about during a post. Other times I have severe writer’s block and on occasion I have so much to say that I don’t even know where to begin. Today I am the latter.

I’m overwhelmed with how much I want to share about this arugula salad, what inspired it and what inspirations came from it that choosing what to talk about is almost impossible. Instead of picking one topic I’m instead going to deviate entirely and discuss how I structure my posts. My recipe posts that is.

Arugula Salad with Balsamic Pesto Dressing // I wouldn’t say there is necessarily a science to blog writing, but with time I have figured out what works for me and what you guys seem to enjoy. My posts always include 4 pictures (sometimes more if I had luck on my side during a shoot) and are between 400-500 words. Rarely do I spend a post describing the recipe but instead talk about an experience that inspired the recipe or something the recipe made me think about. Sometimes what I talk about during a recipe post has nothing to do with the recipe at all aka today.

Another “rule” which I stick to (minus last week’s birthday post) is to limit myself to only one topic per post. I won’t do a survey and a recipe or a workout and a recap in the same post. If I’m being honest, it’s kind of a pet-peeve of mine when people do that. This likely is because I have the attention span of a two year old and trying to get me to focus on more than one topic is virtually impossible. This is especially true if I am reading your post first thing in the morning, pre-coffee…

Arugula Salad with Balsamic Pesto Dressing // I find it somewhat laughable when people tell me they don’t want THM to exclusively become a recipe blog because they like reading my voice. First off, it still baffles me why anyone would EVER want to listen to me and secondly, if you just read between the pictures you would know that my voice is very present in my recipe posts. Even if it is slightly mean and outrageously sarcastic 90% of the time.

I understand why food bloggers spend a lot of time talking about their recipes, since filling your posts with keywords is one of the best things you can do for SEO, but that’s just not me. Alternatively I’m just incredibly narcissistic and prefer talking about myself rather than the recipe.

And now here I am 5 minutes later with a complete post. I’ll take the next two minutes to proof-read, miss at least 2 spelling mistakes and then schedule my post to publish at 5:00am tomorrow morning. This my friends is how the magic happens…

Arugula Salad with Balsamic Pesto Dressing

Rating: 51

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 2

Arugula Salad with Balsamic Pesto Dressing


    For the Salad:
  • 6 cups baby arugula
  • 1 medium roasted beet (roasting instructions below)
  • 1/2 large avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 cup crispy roasted chickpeas (I used my Crispy Sriracha Lime Chickpeas OR 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 T shelled pistachios
  • For the Balsamic Pesto Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T chopped walnuts
  • 1 T nutritional yeast (or parmesan cheese if dairy is acceptable)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T water
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt


    For the beet:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash a medium sized beet in cold water and dry thoroughly.
  3. Wrap in tin foil and bake in oven for 1 hour.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool before peeling skin with hands.
  5. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
  6. For the Balsamic Pesto Dressing:
  7. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  8. Set aside until ready to dress salads.
  9. To Assemble Salad:
  10. Combine arugula, beet, avocado, chickpeas and pistachios in a large bowl.
  11. Top with balsamic pesto dressing.

Arugula Salad with Balsamic Pesto Dressing // Bloggers, do you follow any kind of “rules” with post-writing? What kind of posts do you like reading?



  1. Shashi @ RunninSrilankan(dot)com says

    I actually like reading all sorts of posts – those with recipe descriptions, those with a workout and a recipe, those with family stories and workouts – I like em all – even the “narcissistic self indulgent” ones ;)

    The pesto balsamic dressing sounds fantabulous – it’s been so long since I had a roasted beet – thanks for igniting a craving Davida!!!

  2. says

    Totally hear you on the writer’s block where you have so much to say that you can’t figure out where to start. Happens to me all the time…I like reading blogs mainly for the voice of the blogger. I do follow a few food blogs strictly for the recipe and skip the words since they are all about the recipe but much prefer the people I enjoy for their personality. The food is a bonus.
    meredith @ The Cookie ChRUNicles recently posted…Let’s Talk Sunscreen

  3. says

    Your voice is totally present! People are cray. I think it totally depends on my state while writing the post… sometimes I’m in a silly mood and so my post will be weird and random and other times I’m kinda sleepy so I will talk about the recipe. Totallyyyyy just depends!
    erin @ The Almond Eater recently posted…Memorial Day Weekend Recap

  4. says

    This looks like my kind of salad. That sauce looks the nuts – I really love basil!
    When it comes to writing blog posts – I literally just write what comes into my head. Sometimes I will whack in a few facts and other times I may get a bit el’ serious, it totally depends. For a recipe though I do like to talk a bit about how it came about and what it is like :)
    I love bloggers whose personality shines through the post, whether it is food, life or serious shizzle – makes you relate to them better!
    Lauren recently posted…Chocolate Covered Almond Balls

  5. says

    What boggles my mind the most is that you apparently feel so passionate about a salad :P I’m still waiting for my veggie love to come back to me… I keep saying it’ll hit when the weather gets nicer, buuuuuut so far, no show. And really… I like to read any post that’s well written. If someone has a good voice then they can talk about the price of peas in Peru and I’d probably still be captivated.

  6. says

    Seriously could you have packed more of my favourite ingredients into a salad? Beets, aragula (well, ‘rocket’ to me) and pesto. And making pesto with walnuts? WAY more useful to me than pinenuts. I salute you and your salad creations!

    As for blogging rules: I have none – I’m not a legit enough blogger yet ;) If I can get something posted that doesn’t make me cringe and question why I ever started blogging, then I’m happy with it.
    Cat recently posted…Cat Sweat #11: I Can’t Sit Down

  7. says

    First of all, this salad looks amazing and I’m gonna daydream about it for the rest of the school day.
    Secondly, I ♥ your posts because they’re short and sweet and to the point…unlike mine. heh. I’m working on it. Loved this mini behind the scenes look into your post-writing! :)
    Alison @ Daily Moves and Grooves recently posted…My Random Memorial Day

  8. says

    i htink you’ve found a good balance of injecting your own voice into your recipe posts. most food blogs i read are all “here’s the recipe/instructions”. that’s it.

    also – i need to bookmark this for the dressing because it sounds so yum!
    kathy@vodka and soda recently posted…not your typical blogger

  9. says

    YUM I know what my salad for next week is going to be (I had my dad grill basically an entire garden of vegetables last night for my salads this week haha).

    I’ve been having the same trouble with recipe posts lately.. I just don’t know *what* to say. Nothing has necessarily been inspiring me food wise – I’ve been eating out of necessity. That’s what happens when I’m home too many weekends in a row (2 now, 2 more to go ugh). I’m sure I’ll have lots to chit chat about in 3 weeks and have to completely detox from drinking way too much wine and teq(killa).
    Cassie recently posted…Trail Mix Oatmeal Muffins

  10. says

    Mmm that dressing sounds heavenly! I’ve actually been on a salad kick lately, which is strange for me. I prefer to get my greens in other ways but something about impending summer has me craving salads! I want this ASAP!
    Alex @ Kenzie Life recently posted…With Gratitude

  11. says

    Bahaaah, you crack me upppppppp. I tend to be a bit ADD with my posts at times and do sometimes jump all over the place, but I keep them short. I cannot stand really long blog posts. I’ve had a couple myself, but they are usually about a certain topic that only select people will enjoy anyway. SO…whatevvv. This salad looks legit. Too legit to quit.
    Brittany recently posted…Par Baked

  12. says

    I think this salad is dreamy. The pictures really are incredible.

    I’m with you, I like to have a story of some sort accompany my recipes. It makes it more entertaining for me. I do also like to describe the food too. Not for SEO purposes, but because I want to know what that shiz tastes like. Is the bread light and fluffy or dense and moist? Are the chips crispy crunchy or more chewy in texture? These are things I need to know. Obviously. :)

    Love the idea about the balsamic pesto dressing.

  13. says

    I like reading all different kinds of posts. One thing I love about your posts is that you have awesome questions at the end… even if the recipe isn’t something this picky bitch would try, I still love reading the post b/c you don’t constrain yourself too much!

  14. Angela says

    I like it when bloggers talk about the recipe because I want to get a feel of how it will taste or what it resembles before committing to making it

  15. says

    I have zero plans and zero rules for my posts.
    I like to read a variety of types of blogs – some that have super recipes that are way beyond my level!!!
    Kim recently posted…18 Years Ago

  16. says

    I adoooore pesto! And in dressing form? Genius!

    I have a similar style when it comes to recipe posts – I tend to talk about a topic related to the recipe, or try to (lamely) relate my current life happenings to the recipe.

    My other “rules” are to never post for the sake of posting and to always include a picture in my posts!
    Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen recently posted…Snapshots from my birthday weekend

  17. says

    I notice I get in writing and posting ruts, too! Its hard to figure out how to mix it up without sounding like a completely different blogger … but at the same time, we all like variety. I’ve never been bored coming to your site, just saying! :)
    OHMYGOSH – balsamic pesto?!?! *swoon* *no words* *wherehasthisbeenmyENTIRELIFE*
    ^^I’m a tad bit excited because in my world, this is freaking genius.
    Mary Frances recently posted…Blueberry Overnight Oats Parfait from Flavor The Moments


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