I'm trying to get better about using up little bits of things that are in the fridge, and a few weeks ago I found myself with just two links of spicy turkey Italian Sausage and no idea how to use it. I sat down in my office chair and paged through a few cookbooks and quickly spotted a recipe for Spinach Salad with Italian Sausage in Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh. I didn't have spinach, but I had one of those little tubs of baby arugula, and since I love Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Arugula, I thought maybe a salad with baby arugula and Italian sausage might be a winner as well. If you're a fan of arugula, I promise this Baby Arugula Salad with Turkey Italian Sausage and Red Pepper Strips is really wonderful; I thought all the flavors here were perfect together.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, and squeeze the hot turkey Italian sausage out of the links into the pan. (If you have pre-cooked turkey Italian Sausage, you could cut it into small pieces and brown.)
If you have an old-fashioned potato masher like this one, it's a good way to break the sausage apart into little pieces. Cook the sausage until it's browned well.
If the arugula isn't as crisp as you'd like, soak it in the salad spinner in VERY COLD water for a few minutes.
(Makes about 2 whole-meal salads; recipe adapted from Spinach Salad with Italian Sausage in Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh.)
2 links raw turkey Italian sausage, hot or mild (about 8 oz. sausage)
2 tsp. olive oil
5 oz. baby arugula
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into short thin strips
fresh-ground black pepper and salt to taste
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. garlic paste (from a jar or tube)
2 T sherry vinegar (or white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar will work)
1 T olive oil (or slightly more if you prefer a less vinegary dressing)
Heat the 2 tsp. olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan, and squeeze the sausage out of the casings into the pan. Cook over medium high heat, breaking the sausage apart, until the sausage is completely cooked through and slightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. (I like to use a potato masher to break up the sausage as it cooks.)
While the sausage cooks, check the crispness of your arugula. If it's not as crisp as you'd like, put it in a salad spinner and cover with VERY COLD water. Let the arugula soak 2-3 minutes, then drain and spin until it's very dry. Cut the red bell pepper in half, save half for another use and cut the other half into short, thin strips.
Whisk together the Dijon, garlic paste, vinegar, and olive oil to make the dressing. Put the dried arugula into a bowl and toss with the dressing. (You may not want all the dressing if you don't like your salads too wet.) Transfer the dressed arugula to a serving bowl (or individual bowls) and top with the browned turkey Italian Sausage and red pepper strips.
If you'd prefer more of a wilted salad, you can remove the cooked sausage from the frying pan and heat the dressing, scraping the bottom to get any sausage bits; then pour the hot dressing over the arugula.
South Beach Suggestions:
Everything in this recipe is a delicious low-glycemic ingredient, and this is a perfect salad for any phase of the South Beach Diet.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Deliciousness with Turkey Italian Sausage:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Pasta with Hot Italian Sausage, Kale, Garlic, and Red Pepper Flakes ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Bow Tie Pasta and Italian Turkey Sausage Skillet Meal ~ Coupon Clipping Cook
Casserole with Brown Rice, Ground Turkey, Green Pepper, Mushrooms, and Feta ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Sausage and Kale ~ Simply Recipes
Phase One Stuffed Peppers with Italian Sausage, Ground Beef, and Mozzarella ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Hot or Mild Turkey Italian Sausage Meatballs with Fennel-Mustard Sauce ~ The Perfect Pantry
Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
CrockPot Italian Sloppy Joe ~ Skinnytaste
Grilled Sausage and Summer Squash with Herbs, Capers, and Kalamata Olives ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Lentil and Sausage Stew ~ Budget Bytes
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)