This is my Mom’s recipe! It is simple, super delicious and great for a quiet night in or to serve to a crowd.
• 1 bag or container of baby spinach
• 1 small bunch of asparagus – snap off the ends and discard then cut asparagus into 3″ strips
• 2 cups of sliced mushrooms ( I used cremini)
• 1 red pepper cut into strips
• 2 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes cut in half
• 1 cup fresh basil leaves torn apart
• 1/4 fresh sage – cut into strips
• 1 cup of pitted kalamata or large manzanilla olives (sliced in half)
• 1/2 lb small pasta (cooked and drained) I used Barilla Gemelli.
• 340 g package of easy peel frozen prawns (thawed, peeled, rinsed and dried)
• 1 cup prosciutto ( sliced thinly)- *Optional* (for lower fat alternative, just use prawns)
• 1 cup mini bocconcini
• 1/4 cup grated parmesan
• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
• juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
• 2 cloves of garlic crushed or grated
• 1 tsp. sugar
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Toss the asparagus, mushrooms, red pepper, and cherry tomatoes with some olive oil, crushed garlic and salt and pepper – arrange on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes – just until there is some caramelization on the veggies. Set aside to cool.
2. Cook the pasta according to directions – drain, rinse and cool.
3.Heat a large saute pan on medium high heat with 2 Tblsp. olive oil – cook the prawns for about 2 minutes on each side – squeeze some lemon juice on at the end to deglaze the pan. Set aside.
4. For the dressing – combine the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, juice and rind of lemon, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper into a jar – put the lid on and shake really well. Add more sugar and/or salt and pepper to taste.
5. In a large salad bowl combine the spinach, roasted veggies, fresh herbs, olives, cheeses, pasta, prosciutto and prawns (with the juices from the pan). Toss with the dressing to taste.
Serve with a nice fresh baguette.
(Recipe by Diana Matthews)