Heart Happy Mediterranean Pasta Salad

The season for fresh garbanzo beans can be so short you don’t notice it at all. Most of us will resort to cans. But if you happen to catch this late summer/early autumn bean, your heart and taste buds will thank you.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of lettuce
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 cup of red carrots
  • 2 steams of celery
  • 1⁄2 red onion
  • 1 cup of artichoke hearts
  • 1⁄2 cup Greek olives
  • 1 pound of steamed, fresh garbanzo beans (or 1 can rinsed and drained)
  • 1 package of gluten-free penne pasta (we use the ancient harvest quinoa pasta)
  • 1⁄2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1⁄4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. sweet relish

Directions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Rinse and set aside.
  • Next chop lettuce, basil, carrots, celery, red onion,artichoke hearts and olives and place them in a very large bowl.
  • Top with garbanzo beans and cooked pasta.
  • Next mix together the balsamic, Dijon and sweet relish.
  • Stir well.
  • Pour dressing over salad and mix everything together.

Harvest Moon Potato Salad

I’ve never understood why exactly, but arugula’s peppery flavor is balanced by the spicy tang of mustard — despite them being from the same plant family. This composed salad of mostly cooked vegetables shows off the best of early autumn’s bounty.

Serves: 8
Takes: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour to chill

Ingredients

1.5 pounds new potatoes
0.5 pounds green beans
3 cups chopped arugula leaves
3-4 sweet peppers (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon stoneground mustard
salt, pepper and red wine vinegar to taste

Directions

Boil 1 1/2 lbs. of potatoes in salted water until fork tender. Drain and rinse, then allow to cool. The potatoes should be firm but not crunchy.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425. Trim 1/2 lb. of green beans and cut in halves.  Remove the cores and seeds from 3-4 sweet peppers and slice thinly lengthwise.  Toss the beans and the peppers with 2 T. olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven on a cookie sheet until the beans begin to brown and the peppers are soft, about 10 minutes.

Cut the potatoes in large dice. Make a dressing with 1 T. each stoneground mustard and olive oil, then add red wine vinegar to taste.

Toss just enough dressing with the potatoes and roasted vegetables to coat them lightly, then add 3 C. arugula leaves and toss to combine. Best if refrigerated one hour before serving.

Spinach Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette

Everything is better with bacon, at least that’s how the saying goes. It holds true for this classic recipe that combines greens with egg, vinaigrette, and of course bacon. It’s hearty enough for a main dish, yet cooling on a hot day.

I found this recipe at Suzie’s Farm.

Ingredients

4 ounces baby spinach or other fresh greens
2 large white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 small or medium red onion, very thinly sliced
1 large egg, hard-boiled (see above), chilled, peeled and thinly sliced
4 pieces thick-sliced bacon (about 4 ounces), finely diced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey or sugar
1/2 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Place spinach in a large, wide salad serving bowl. Scatter with mushrooms, red onion (see above for a different, mellower way to add the onions) and coins of hard-boiled egg.
In a large skillet, fry bacon bits over medium-high heat until they’re brown and crisp and have rendered their fat.
Use a slotted spoon to scoop them out of the skillet and spread them on a piece of paper towel briefly before sprinkling them over the salad.
Pour out all but two tablespoons of hot bacon fat from the skillet. Reheat over medium and quickly whisk in the red wine vinegar, honey and Dijon.
Pour over entire salad and season salt and pepper.
Toss gently and serve hot.