Friday, June 5, 2015
Tis the season for lots of salads. With the weather warming up, we prefer to eat cooler and lighter. Salads are always easy to make because you can prepare them ahead and keep in the fridge until it's time to serve. Ingredients for the most part are up to you, depending on what you already have on hand or can easily pick up at the grocery store (or farmers market!). One type of salad that's always popular is the pasta salad. You can use any pasta shape you like, combine it with any veggie combos that you want and then hit it with whatever type of dressing stikes your fancy. So with the NHL & NBA Finals in full swing and the gang stopping by to check out those matches, I knew I couldn't go wrong by whipping up a bowl of: Spaghetti Salad!
I decided to go with spaghetti because it was a little different from the traditional pasta salads. I broke the strands up into 2-inch pieces. Then I added celery, red onion, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, pine nuts, cheddar cheese and cucumber (that I grated - no particular reason, I just felt like it!). I tossed it with a home-made Italian-style vinaigrette. It makes a nice side salad for grilled meats. Hey, you could even eat this as a main course if you have any leftover!
1 lb spaghetti, broken into 2" pieces, cooked, drained and cooled 1/4 medium red onion, minced
1 large red pepper, roasted and minced (or 3/4 cup of jarred roasted pepper, minced)
2 celery stalks, sliced
3/4 cup sauteed mushrooms, cooled
(or 1 small can of mushrooms, drained)
1 small can sliced olives
4 oz cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
2 tbs pine nuts
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbs grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1. Cook pasta and cool under cold water. Drain. Add remaining ingredients. Toss with vinaigrette and serve - or fridge until time to serve.
To make the vinaigrette:
In a blender add all the ingredients except the olive oil. Place top on blender and turn on. Remove little cap on top and with the blender running, begin to drizzle in the oil.
And there you have it! It's a really nice dish and something that you can also serve at any bbq's. As I said, you can use any combination of veggies, cheeses, nuts that you like. It's up to you. There are no hard rules. Your company is going to really enjoy it.
I hope you try this and if you do, let me know how it came out!
Until next week gang, keep on homegating!