Oh yeah, some spicy arugula too!
Who doesn’t love fruit of any kind on a salad! Whether it’s summer fruits like berries and peaches or fall fruits like apples, pears, dates, cranberries and of course figs, all these fruits add a little sweetness to your salad and ups the wow factor for your guests. I like salads that make me anxious to make them or come up with additions that may make them even better and I like to think of people eating them and loving them (ok that is a little weird.)
This salad happened to come about when friends came to Round Top for the Fall Antique Show. We spent the day shopping, lunch at Round Top Brewing, blackberry lime scones and champagne at my house to celebrate all the help they have been to me with building our new house. Believe me, I had a ton of questions. (Also, Brooke’s mom and sister received tons of questions from me -thanks for your help too.) So, after a long day shopping they returned to The Woodlands and the next day they shopped the day in Houston and had lunch at a restaurant where they had this salad. They recreated the salad for their dinner the next night. I’m recreating it from their version.
All those fresh summer vegetables in one salad.
Don’t you just love the taste of arugula? The peppery taste is delicious mixed with tomatoes and I love it on sandwiches in place of lettuce or sautéed a little bit and put into an omelette.
This salad was another idea I had one night when faced with a refrigerator full of vegetables and a brand new package of arugula and after looking on the internet I found others had beaten me to the punch or should I say, recipe. I used Bobby Flay’s Vinaigrette recipe but my own farm truck list of ingredients for the salad.
There’s nothing better than summer tomatoes and over the 4th of July, my son Paul brought a ton (not actually a ton) of tomatoes to me; so many he made 6 pints of roasted salsa that we can enjoy through the summer. I’m thinking when my husband is in the pool and wants a snack I can go pop open a jar of salsa and serve it to him pool side with some chips (not homemade of course).
I’ve gotten where I only buy English cucumbers, that is unless I can get the small pickling type. I love the deep ridges in the English cucumbers and they don’t have as many seeds on the inside and they looked so pretty in this salad.
What to do with these ingredients.
With all of these ingredients left over from the weekend I had an idea to use my pasta and arugula in a salad but didn’t know what type of dressing. So I “googled” and believe it or not there were a lot of people that had already beaten me to this salad idea. So I took Food and Wine’s recipe and added a couple of things.
Like I was saying in another post, I always buy too much food when my kids come home, in fact, when anyone comes over. A few weekends ago when my daughter came I had bought some cute pasta to use in a pasta salad and never got around to using it, I also had bought some frozen petite peas that I was going to use to make my pasta pesto saladthat I had made for our garden club luncheon last year. That was the easiest salad ever. But along with those two ingredients I had a whole box of baby arugula and some very pretty colored cherry tomatoes in orange, purple, red and yellow.
I have a weakness for “cute” pastas. This particular one was a trottole pasta (looks like spinning tops (that’s a toy if you didn’t know what a “top” was)) and who could resist Orechetti (little ears), or little O’s, ABC’s, coral shapes and I’ve even bought Maple leaf shaped pasta when we visited Canada, and of course I have bought Texas shaped pasta.
I do declare! This is one of the best and simplest salads I have ever made.
As I have said before, I love arugula. Never thought of putting it in potato salad before but, believe me, this works.
I think I could live on potatoes. We probably eat potatoes about twice a month now that all my kids have moved on and left the nest. Seems like all three of our kids were pretty picky eaters when they were growing up. They would eat meat, potatoes, “box” mac and cheese, hardly anything green but fried okra and green beans. They have since outgrown that and have now developed an appetite for good food, good wine and a love for cooking and trying different things.
Who would know that these boiled little potatoes could turn into a fantastic, peppery salad.
If you have never tried arugula, run, don’t walk to your nearest market and buy some. Put it on sandwiches, burgers, in salads, use it in appetizers, and main dishes. I think you will fall for it like I did.