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Tomato and mozzarella salad with arugula and fresh basil vinaigrette.

If you’ve read MBA for any length of time, you know that I’m kind of a self-proclaimed control freak – especially around the holidays. I go all out in the areas of gift wrapping and home decor and certainly like to have a big part in holiday meals with our family.

Being 34 weeks pregnant has compelled me to toss my overly passionate ways out the window. Our gifts are wrapped a little simpler, our door had a fall wreath hanging on it until yesterday, and the dinner – ha, I’m bringing the salad and a Honey Baked Ham (from the company, not my kitchen.. womp womp).

Back in November, we received an AeroGarden ULTRA and we were pretty darn excited about it. I don’t know about your grocery stores, but it’s proven difficult for us to find quality fresh herbs at this time of year. Everything seems bruised, dry, and definitely less than appetizing.


Wanting to get our herbs growing as quickly as possible, Eric assembled our AeroGarden the night it arrived. I gladly handed the task over to him because, quite frankly, I lack the patience for assembling pretty much anything. Surprisingly enough, assembling the AeroGarden was a breeze and we were on are way to growing fresh herbs within less than 30 minutes thanks to the Quick Plant step-by-step process.

The AeroGarden Ultra is wicked smart. And the MyGarden Control Panel automatically runs all growing functions – you can make it simple with the push of a button or advanced with 100 percent customizable options. It gives us tips and even lets us know when it’s time to feed our herbs. Pretty genius, especially for someone that kills mint outdoors.

We planted 3 types of basil, mint, oregano, thyme and savory. We were shocked as to how quickly our little basil plants sprouted and now, 38 days later, they’re healthy, strong, and full of fragrant basil leaves. In fact, all of our plants are doing well, and we’re absolutely loving the fact that we can snip fresh herbs for dinner, right in our kitchen.


Now, let’s talk salad. I’ve been obsessed with arugula lately, so I thought I’d make a festive Tomato and Mozzarella Salad topped with a Basil Vinaigrette. Simple, incredibly delicious and a fresh edition to any holiday spread. The vinaigrette is bursting with basil flavor which pairs perfectly with the tomato and mini mozzarella.


For more Fresh Holiday Entertaining Recipes, visit KitchenPlay.

AeroGrow is running ‘12 Days of Deals’ for the holidays with discounts and special bundles for the season. Plus, get up to 20% on everything storewide when using promo code ‘Holiday20’ in the shopping cart at checkout. For More information, please visit AeroGarden on Facebook and Twitter.

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette


For the Salad
5 ounce container baby arugula
1 cup grape tomatoes, slice in half
1 cup baby mozzarella balls, drained
black pepper to taste

For the Basil Vinaigrette
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup honey
8-10 large basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and black pepper to taste


1. Place arugula, tomatoes and baby mozzarella balls in a large salad bowl. Prepare dressing.

2. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse machine until dressing is smooth and ingredients are fully incorporated.

3. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad and toss to coat. If desired, garnish with chiffonade of basil and freshly ground black pepper.


Remaining dressing will store within refrigerator for up to 5 days.

All images and text ©

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Disclosure: This post is sponsored by AeroGarden. All opinions expressed about the AeroGarden Ultra are my own.

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  1. pooja says:

    Wow nice recipe. Will definitely try out .

  2. Aurica says:

    that’s what i call a freah, natural and healthy salad recipe, it look’s so energetic and full of proteins, delicious and tasty one :)

  3. Jeff @ says:

    I’m preparing this today as a healthy intermission between the Christmas and New Year festivities.

    1. Jamie says:


      Sounds like a great idea…need a tiny break from all the sweets! Happy new year to you!


  4. Emily says:

    Jamie, this salad looks fabulous! I really need to check out this AeroGrow, because I am missing my fresh herbs now that my backyard is under a foot of snow. This salad looks beautiful and totally fit for a Christmas dinner. And you have every right to take it easy this year!

    1. Jamie says:

      It’s been so nice to have fresh herbs at our fingertips and the growing process is pretty darn cool as well! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Amber | Bluebonnets & Brownies says:

    I’m kind of in love with this AeroGrow idea. And I’m all about that basil vinaigrette too! You’ll have to forgive me for subbing some butter lettuce and baby spinach instead of arugula though. It made me SO sick while pregnant that I can’t stand the site of the stuff now.

    1. Jamie says:

      That’s kind of funny! I actually crave arugula and romaine – baby spinach? Not so much. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Katrina @ WVS says:

    Loving this! Simple salads like this are so fun!

    1. Jamie says:

      I totally agree and I can’t resist the festive holiday colors in this one! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. kelly @ kellybakes says:

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s reigning in her need to do everything perfectly this Christmas! Last year I baked and elaborately decorated 15 dozen sugar cookies to ship out to friends across the country. I went a little crazy baking for people, buying too many presents and making sure to bring the perfect dishes to potlucks and holiday parties. This year, I’m working twice as much and taking care of a newborn, so I told myself that it was okay to just send cards and to bring something store-bought or not so elaborate to parties. This salad though? I could totally do. And it would still be impressive. Thank you from all the overachievers for giving us something festive and simple to bring to our holiday festivities this year ;)

    1. Jamie says:

      I still plan on baking a bit more, but definitely cutting back in comparison to years in the past. I’ll all about semi-homemade right now and I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it! Enjoy your little one! Thanks so much for stopping by.