13 June 2009
Pasta Vegetable Salad
So here's what I made for lunch on Monday.
I used to own and run two restaurants that primarily focussed on salads, potatoes and other healthy foods. This resembles the primary salad we made and I had forgotten how much I missed eating it several times a week (I had it every day for the week). We served it on a bed of lettuce, but here I served it by itself.
This was all done by eye, but the gist is:
make pasta (according to the instructions), either shells or spirals.
(In my place, we would have several stockpots of boiling water going at once, but here in the house, I cheated by adding the vegetables themselves to the boiling water so I didn't need to blanch them and add them later.)
cook vegetables al dente (always carrots -which need the longest cooking time, green beans, and peas, which use the shortest. Also good with asparagus, broccoli, and snow peas.
Add the vegetables at the time which will allow them to be finished cooking at the same time. To make it even easier, use good frozen vegetables. Just make certain not to overcook and to chill and drain as rapidly as possible. (Of course, fresh tastes better and it's easier if you have a kitchen machine.)
Important: drain and run under cold water, while stirring the mixture to allow it to get as cold as possible, as fast as possible. You can also plunge into an ice bath, or have done so with the vegetables before adding them to already drained pasta.
Makes a cool, crisp and refreshing salad that I usually have with fat-free Catalina (if I have it) or a simple Italian vinaigrette.