Summer’s here! Albeit a bit mild and overcast, but it’s still summer, marked by the swell of visitors to Southern California and the abundance of outdoor events and eating, picnics, concerts, and festivals.
In Laguna Beach, there’s the Pageant of the Masters, the Art Festivals, outdoor concerts, and the summer crowds. It takes 10-15 minutes longer to get through town…and that’s on a good day. The trolleys that move people up and down PCH are full. The sunsets over the ocean are amazing!!!
Up in LA, concerts and picnics at the Hollywood Bowl and the Greek are in full swing, and the Dodger fans are here (that one’s for you jb). I just spent a magical evening at the Hollywood Bowl on July 3rd with some of my favorite people! The evening included Smokey Robinson (he’s still got it goin on at age 75), fireworks, seeing the Griffith Observatory off in the distance, the Hollywood Sign against the Hollywood hills, a full moon and having a fun picnic dinner. All put together, it seemed surreal.
I had so much fun making our picnic which featured this Sweet Potato Salad, not too heavy but full of flavor! The menu also included a fun, fabulous cheese platter ( a gentleman from England actually stopped to take a picture of it-sorry I didn’t take one), olives, a little vino, fresh fruit for dessert with Raw Chocolate Macaroons -Recipe, and Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies -Recipe. Our bellies and hearts were very full by the end of the evening!
Sweet Potato Arugula Salad
2 orange sweet potatoes or yams
2 pale yellow sweet potatoes or 2 cups butternut squash
3 Tsp. fresh thyme, coarsely chopped (dried thyme will work too)
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1 tsp. Real salt
1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
Pepper to taste
8 cups arugula
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup pomegranate seeds
2 Tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
2 Large shallots, peeled and diced
2/3 cup champagne vinegar
1 cup olive oil
Wash and peel the sweet potatoes and/or squash and cut them into 1/2-inch pieces.
Toss with thyme, olive oil and spices. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Toast in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until brown and soft.
To prepare the dressing, soak the shallots and pinch of salt in champagne vinegar for 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in the olive oil into the dressing. Season to taste.
Combine roasted potatoes warm or cold with arugula and remaining ingredients. (use the amount of dressing to your taste)
- Pomegranates are originally from Persia and are very friendly to our heart and cardiovascular system. They possess the ability to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure and remove plaque.
- Thyme is a great natural anti-fungal with soothing properties. I love the taste of fresh thyme and my digestive system loves its healing properties.