Asparagus, Egg, Bacon & Potato Salad

by Susan on March 30, 2015

The week after Easter is when recipes using hard boiled eggs start flooding food blogs and cooking sites. I decided to be a little proactive this year, and share a few beforehand (because frankly I am usually a little sick of hard boiled eggs after the fact).

My favorite way to eat hard boiled eggs is in salad, but not the traditional creamy prep with mayo. I love to create dishes that incorporate a lot of flavors and textures, just like a classic Cobb salad.

Today’s recipe was inspired by Gina from Skinnytaste, whose Asparagus Egg & Bacon salad looked and sounded divine. That’s saying a lot, as asparagus is not one of my favorites. I certainly don’t hate it, but it never really excited me and I thus often forget to make it.

My fiance feels a little more strongly about hard boiled eggs than I do asparagus: he doesn’t like them at all! I wanted to tweak the recipe so we could both enjoy lunch together, so added some crispy potatoes that really worked perfectly. They added a nice crunchy element, and tasted absolutely delicious (both with the egg and without).

This easy salad is gluten, grain and dairy-free. The original recipe I adapted only made one portion; mine serves two.

Asparagus, Egg, Bacon & Potato Salad
adapted from Skinnytaste

2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 slices nitrite-free bacon
1 large russet potato
salt, pepper & garlic powder
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. dijon mustard

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crip; remove with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels. Leave bacon fat in skillet.

Cut potato into small dice. Rinse with cool water and drain well.

Heat bacon fat over medium and add diced potatoes, tossing to coat. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook for 10 minutes covered, then stir and cook for 10 more minutes uncovered or until crisp.

While potatoes are cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil and add asparagus. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water.

Combine olive oil, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble salad, divide asparagus between two plates or shallow bowls. Top with potatoes, bacon and egg. Drizzle with dressing.


Pasta with Peas and Pancetta

by Susan on March 28, 2015

I love a good alliteration (note the Ps in today’s recipe name), but want to know what I don’t love ? Peas in pasta. It is a combination that actually makes me shudder.

I’m not suggesting that you should agree with me, as it just so happens that everyone else in my household thinks it’s a match made in heaven. Hence today’s dish, that I made after expressly being asked for it. I made it once months ago and everyone loved it. So much so that I finally coalesced, but simply made myself a different dinner!

Beyond the peas, this one has a lot to offer. The sauce is nice and creamy, and the hint of lemon really makes it pop. The crispy pancetta is a nice contrast in flavor and texture (you could also use chopped bacon).

While I make this gluten-free using brown rice penne, I don’t know that it would taste as good made dairy-free. My best suggestion would be to make a cashew-based “cream,” but I can’t vouch how well it would work as I haven’t tried it myself. Either heavy cream or coconut milk work well, though, and this does taste good without the addition of the cheese sprinkled on at the end.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as my family! And I promise to try to work through my pea issues if you’re interested in similar recipes down the line.

Pasta with Peas and Pancetta 

2 tbs. olive oil
4 oz. diced pancetta or nitrite-free bacon
1 onion, finely chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup organic chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream or canned coconut milk
2 cups frozen organic peas
salt & pepper, to taste
1 lb. brown rice penne
3/4 cup mascarpone cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon
grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta al dente, reserving 1/2 cup of starchy water for sauce. Drain pasta and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until starting to crisp up, about 2-3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft.

Add wine and cook until it has mostly evaporated. Add the broth and bring to a bubble. Add the cream and reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the peas; season with salt and pepper.

Stir the mascarpone, lemon juice and the cooking water into the skillet to form a sauce, cooking over low heat until it thickens up a bit. Stir in pasta.

Taste for seasoning. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top.


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