The California Salad

California Salad

Light & Healthy

So light, so healthy & sooooooo delicious!  I concocted this simple, yet elegant side salad after messing around with a few different ideas.  It’s even VEGAN, and it goes with just about anything you can think of …

What’s In It?  All my favorite things!

Arugula and/or Baby Spinach – My go-to choice is Arugula, but if I’m feeling frisky, I’ll pick up some Baby Spinach instead.  OR, if you’re feeling totally rebellious, mix them together as you throw your head back and laugh manically!

Sunburst Tomatoes – For most of my life I turned my nose up at cherry tomatoes or anything that slightly resembled them.  WHAT WAS I THINKING?  Holy mother of Solanum Lycopersicum, these little golden treats pack a sweet & delectable punch!  They add a unique compliment to the tangy, slightly bitter flavors of this salad.

Avocado – I mean, really, how can you go wrong with avocado?  It’s the best and most, er, one of the most versatile fruits.  (I sat here for a good 6 minutes and argued with myself about whether an avocado or a lemon is the most versatile fruit – I’m torn!)  I could eat avocado on ANYTHING & it lends some creaminess to this salad.  Growing up in Northern & Southern California, we had avocado trees & come to think of it – why don’t I have one now?  Ok, I just decided I’m going to propagate the next pit of an avocado.

Lemon – I love lemons, too.  And I do squeeze them on just about everything, so one day when I was sick of making dressing & just wanted something light & simple, I squeezed lemon all over the salad.  Hello!?  Why had I never thought of this before?  Lightbulb!

Garlic – Yep, another one of my faves … pressed & as much (or as little) as you like!  Me?  Two big, fat cloves!  (p.s. the garlic press is nice because it gets a little garlic juice in there, but if you don’t have one, just mince the garlic.)

Olive Oil – Just a little so that it all melds together nicely.

So like I was saying … You can eat this alone, or with your best buddy if you are nice enough to share.  Kidding, I mean, you can eat this as a stand alone salad, or it accompanies pretty much anything from chicken, to turkey chili, to white bean vegan soup, to grilled salmon or even barbecue!

You’re welcome … 🙂

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The Fairly Good Garden ~ Update!

I’m having a blast watching my garden grow … Like Miss Mary Quite Contrary.

Garden 11 days after planting

Garden 11 days after planting

I’ve even already harvested my arugula & made my spring arugula & bacon pasta dish.  Only this time I made it with lemon pepper paparedelle pasta from Trader’s & MAN, was it the most PERFECT pasta to go with the flavors of this dish!!  Summer Pasta with Arugula & Bacon | The Fairly Good Mother

Artichoke! | The Fairly Good Mother And, I see a little bud on one of my artichoke plants!  That makes my mouth water.

We’ve already picked and eaten some of the strawberries & they were decadent!  The Boy is loving our garden.  Tristan & Loran Variety Strawberries | The Fairly Good Mother

Spring Pasta Dish: Linguine with Arugula, Tear Drop Tomatoes and Bacon … mmm, Bacon!

In Southern California, we have two seasons: Spring & Summer. They are almost indecipherable & you will hear me start to really complain about the heat come September.

Well, it’s only April and already 80 degrees! When it gets hot, I don’t want to be slaving over the stove or messing around in the oven. I want something light, easy and (of course) delish to eat for dinner.  And we’ve established (via the brussels sprouts post) that bacon makes everything awesome!

And since The Husband’s work days are getting later and later, it has to be something that I can whip together & not too heavy because we’re eating at 8pm or so.

Lots of variations on this simple dish

Lots of variations on this simple dish

This dish is in my rotation during the spring & summer months (aka March – November.)  I short cut it by purchasing the refrigerated pasta, (you can use linguine, fettucini or paparedelle -which is tough to find around here, but it’s my favorite pasta for this dish.)  And, depending on what tomatoes they have in the store, I use yellow tear drops, grape tomatoes or both!

Spring Pasta with Arugula, Tear Drop Tomatoes & Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz pasta (refrigerated or uncooked) Pappardelle, Linguini, Fettucini
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup halved yellow tear-drop tomatoes (and/or)
  • 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups loosely packed chopped arugula
  • 4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (OPTIONAL, if you don’t eat meat)
  • Parmesan cheese (grated, shaved or shredded & OPTIONAL if you don’t eat cheese)

Method:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; keep warm.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pepper and garlic to skillet; cook 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant. Add tomatoes; cook 1 minute, stirring gently. Remove the skillet from heat; stir in lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt & a few twists of fresh ground pepper. Combine the hot pasta, arugula, and warm tomato mixture in a large bowl, tossing to coat. Top with cheese and bacon