Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A lovely pasta garden salad...

Hanging her head in shame after re-reading her own last blog on this site....
I lied. I made a commitment to post here, and now it's been over 2 months ago. No more promises, okay? I'll do the best I can and just get myself back into a routine as best I can.

'Nuff said.

It's the end of July and there are lots of odds and ends coming out of the garden. Today, I'm making a pasta salad with some good junk in it from out yonder. I took my little pail out and pulled a lot of weeds and picked some very young [tender] green beans, some cherry tomatoes, some small onions, some okra, and some bell peppers. I have some farfalle pasta (little bow ties), which always makes a beautiful pasta salad, in my opinion. And they're good bite sized pieces.

And...this would be the produce inspector?????? He lives to serve! So, for this pasta salad, (which, BTW, can be eaten either cold or warm) I start with a good sized pan of boiling water, into which I have put a twist or so of sea salt and a smidgen of extra virgin olive oil. Once it starts to boil, add the pasta. I cook the farfalle about 11 minutes, as I like it al dente for salads. Drain, mix in about a tbsp of real butter or olive oil and stir well but gently to coat the pasta. Then you can set it aside to let it cool down.

I took the veggies from the garden and washed them, then cut them into small bite sized pieces. You can use any combination of vegetables you happen to have on hand. These were just picked, and are absolutely sweet and delicious.

Next I sprayed my trusty cast iron skillet with canola oil spray, then put in about a tbsp of butter and sauteed the veggies until they were crisp-tender. I ground a little sea salt and peppercorns into the mix. I also added some minced garlic, because that's just how I cook, lol. The okra got a little gooey, but not really bad at all. It's pretty young pods, and I know that makes a goo-factor difference. I couldn't possibly live without my cast iron skillet. And that's the truth.

About this time, I mixed in some chopped fresh basil and oregano out of my porch herb pot, mixed in some shredded parmesan and a little more cracked black pepper. I just finished eating a lovely bowl of it. Totally satisfying and I am full.

Total preparation time on this is about 25 minutes. Minimal clean-up too, which is always a plus.

It's a wonderful vegetarian dish, it's nutritious, and it's easy. And best of all...I'm not hungry any more.

Bon Apetit!