You guys. Summer is right around the corner. That means a few very very important things:
# 1 Short shorts. Which also means, I desperately need a tan. And a trip to J Crew. It’s dangerous to go there this time of year. Did you know that. The store is stocked full of fabulous bright colors that are just screaming my name. Literally, I don’t think I can walk in there without walking out with at least 2 new outfits. It’s a problem. And there is no foreseeable fix.
# 2 Surprise vaca is right around the corner and I have still yet to figure out where we are going. I’ve basically decided in my mind that it’s Africa and there is no convincing of me otherwise. We’re probably really going to somewhere like Brazil or New Zealand… which means my parents will have pulled off another surprise. They win. They always do. My sister and I get clues each week leading up to the trip. They are pretty bizarre. I don’t know how else to describe them… but here are a few:
Where the buffalo roam
When puppies take a little nap they always take their favorite bone, a part of the fun!
Towering above the river, and such beautiful scenes to behold. Away from the dust and dirt in the west. What a day it will be, or two or three……
Beautiful she is, yet such a hard name. Could she be the place, so bubbly and warm, or just a stop on the way?
When I told my brother about the trip, Al says,”have a glass for me.”
Like, honestly. What do those mean?!? I’ll send a giant shipment of cookies to anyone who figures it out. I’m totally stumped. All I know is that I need my passport. So clearly it’s not in the US
And lastly #3 Bikini’s. Yup. They are coming. It’s inevitable seeing as how they are an absolutely necessity for getting a tan.
And do you know what those 3 things mean? It means that it’s time to clean up the eating and get ready! So here’s my plan. Loaded Salads. Loaded salads with tons of fresh farmer market veggies. And of course a healthy dose of avocado in each one. Last week I picked up a few of my favorite finds this time of year the at market and threw them all into a big giant salad for lunch. Loaded with arugula, fresh peas, asparagus, avocados, mint, artichoke hearts and manchego cheese, this spring bounty salad will leave you satisfied and happy.
This loaded spring salad is one for the record books! Wild arugula and fresh peas give this salad a big pop! You could easily blanch the peas for a quick 60 seconds in boiling water if you want, but I love the crispness of raw, freshly shelled peas.
- 1 tbsp dijon Mustard
- 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 handfuls wild arugula
- 1 cup fresh peas
- 2 tbsp fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup cubed manchego cheese
- 1 avocado, removed from the skin and diced
- 1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil until emulsified. Set aside until you're ready to serve.
- Bring a small pan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and cook for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Remove the asparagus from the water and immediately transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking. Remove the asparagus from the ice bath and drain excess water. Place the asparagus in a large bowl.
- Add the arugula, fresh peas, mint, manchego, avocado and artichoke and toss together. Drizzle with half of the vinaigrette and toss. Add more vinaigrette if desired and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately.
I am so excited you are making one of my recipes and I would love to see how it turns out. Make sure to share it on instagram and tag me @whatsgabycookin so I can see your masterpiece!