So the first day of Summer is here. Miracle of miracles, it is actually sunny and warm here in Portland, not something we usually see for the first day of Summer. In the spirit of cold dinners eaten outside I'm posting my latest take on pasta salad. I, like many, ate a lot of pasta salad growing up. Truth be told, it wasn't always that different from potato salad and usually involved mayonnaise in varying quantities. For the sake of my family's health and the fact that our garden has started producing actual food I've taken away the mayo and much of the actual pasta, making the noodles more of a sideline ingredient instead of the main thing. What we ended up with was refreshing, healthy and didn't make us sweat!
Any pasta will do, I cooked it a dente (not mushy) and skipped the whole running the hot pasta under cold water thing as it always makes it turn out oddly slick and rubbery. Instead I drizzled a little olive oil on the noodles and let them cool while I chopped up everything else.
Added to them after cooled:
thin sliced fennel
arugula and other lettuces from our garden
basil and flat leaf parsley
lemon zest and juice
extra virgin olive oil
s&p of course
The pasta can be cooked the day before and kept in the fridge then it's really an easy after work dinner. And it's so interchangeable depending on what veggies are in season. I can hardly even count it as a recipe. I love the combination of fennel, radish and avocado and often have just those three as a salad, especially if we've got some grilled fish. Mmmm, maybe next week.