Once again, Trader Joe’s is your friend

With apologies to those of you who don’t have the access you’d like to have to a Joe’s. You know how you go to Trader Joe’s and they have the food demonstration thingy and most of the time it isn’t that great?  Oh, it’s not exactly terrible, but it isn’t very often that I get inspired to go home and make the same thing.  In fact, when I tasted this pasta salad in the store, I was underwhelmed.  But I decided to give it a go, because who doesn’t need more arugula in their life?  Or rocket, as our friends in the UK like to call it.

What you’ll need:

One 16 oz package Italian Farfalle

One 7 oz bag of Wild Arugula (Wild Rocket Salad)

Two 15 oz cans TJ’s Marinated Bean Salad (“3 bean medley in a lemon and white wine vinegar marinade with garlic onions and oregano”)

2/3 or 3/4 c. of pine nuts (you decide)

1 1/2 c. chopped ham I used about half of a Niman Ranch ham steak (Do I have to put optional here, or do you vegetarians know that already?)

Parmesan & Romano grated cheese blend

Fresh ground pepper

Lemon, if you want to squeeze a bit of lemon on top

Boil the pasta according to the package directions.  Yes, the whole thing.  It makes a lot, but that’s okay.  Or, you can easily halve this recipe. While that’s happening, chop up a third(ish) of the arugula using scissors.  Chop up the ham.  Open the beans.  Roast the pine nuts at 400 degrees for about 7-8 minutes (watch ‘em).

After you’ve drained the pasta, throw it in a bowl with the arugula, the beans with their juice, the ham, and the pine nuts.  Toss together.  Top with ground pepper.  I took this to a potluck, and I mixed in the Parmesan just before serving.  You could also just let people sprinkle their own parmesan—that’s what I did today and explains why you don’t see Parmesan in the photo.  I thought  about using fresh Parmesan but decided on the drier pre-grated stuff that TJ’s sells.  I didn’t sprinkle with lemon juice at the potluck, but I did squeeze a few drops on today once it was dished up.

There you have it.  Now you know what I’ll bring if you invite me to a potluck.

UPDATE: The Scout, who is the real culinarian of this household, wants to substitute prosciutto for the ham.

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7 Responses to “Once again, Trader Joe’s is your friend”

  1. altadenahiker Says:

    Sez you. I ain’t never seen you with this salad.

  2. Ann Erdman Says:

    Looks like pure yumsville!

  3. Susan C Says:

    Looks lovely. I think I’d substitute tuna for the ham.

  4. Petrea Says:

    So you didn’t love it in the store, but do you love it now?

  5. Todd Says:

    What a great picture! All the photos that you put on your blog of Anza-Borrego, or abandoned towns, or roads, the ones taken by some other dude – those are fine, but look at the composition here! The cans of bean salad! The lemon! The spoon, for crying out loud! Also, that pepper grinder looks familiar.

  6. Gaga 4 Dada Says:

    the Scout is right. How about a little balsamic instead of lemon?

  7. Mademoiselle Gramophone Says:

    You should write a cookbook. Or post mediocre recipes on Craiglist with sports highlights tossed in. You’re a riot. I’m so glad you emboldened with their juice —what wuddahappen if I fergot dat?

    I want to substitute fresh basil leaves for the rocket, and add fresh tomatoes with a sprinkling of crumbled gorgonzola mixed in. All found at Joe.

    How inspiring this.

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