We're big meat eaters here. During the summer, when the grill is open for business on our patio, we especially like beef ribs and veal chops, chicken and salmon.

But sometimes veg-only is on the menu. Maybe it's a meatless Monday -- or Tuesday, Wednesday -- whatever.

Or a fast during the Nine Days.

Or we are too tired to have a big, heavy meat meal.

Or it's just plain too hot to eat a heavy protein meal.

At those times we like a light, vegetarian, filling salad.

Like this one:

Tomato and Pasta Salad with Egg, Avocado and Blue Cheese

  • 1 cup elbow macaroni or other small shape pasta
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
  • 1 avocado, peeled and cut into dice
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 3–4 tablespoons red wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta until al dente, drain and place in a large bowl. Set aside. While the pasta is cooking, heat a half tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Beat the eggs together and pour them into the pan. Cook for about one minute, stirring slightly, turn the egg over and cook for 30-60 seconds or until the eggs are cooked through. Place on a cutting board and chop into pieces. Add to the pasta. Add the tomatoes, avocado, cheese, red onion and dill and toss ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining olive oil, 3 tablespoons vinegar and the mustard. Pour the dressing over the salad. Toss and let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. Taste for seasoning and add more vinegar if desired. Season to taste with pepper.

Makes 4 servings.