Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Here's a shot of my cookie tray for our neighborhood July 3 picnic, with 4 different kinds of cookies:
Even though there were tons of desserts at the party, these were cleaned out!
I also brought this delicious pasta salad --
Allrecipes.com has this great
pasta salad recipe from food columnist Pam Anderson. Working off Pam's recipe, I created this pasta salad for our July 3 picnic and loved the results. The salad has a lot of ingredients, especially with the vinaigrette, but it's worth the extra time and effort. Trouble is I made way too much. We had company for dinner last night and I served it again, this time with tomatoes chopped in it. Everyone loved it. I actually like it better with the tomatoes, and they add some color. The nice thing about Pam's recipe is that it's a template -- you get to pick your own ingredients. So I opted for mixing the pastas (slipping in some whole wheat penne that fussy Guy never picked up on) and using the veggies I was most interested in at the time. You get to pick your faves also. Let me know if you try this -- leave a comment at the end of any post.

Pasta-Veggie Salad with Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
1 lb. pasta (I used 1/3 lb. spirals, 1/3 lb. penne, & 1/3 lb. whole wheat penne)
3 cups fresh broccoli flowerets
1-1/2 cups fresh sugar snap peas, strings removed
1-1/2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
1-1/2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped, pitted olives
2-3 Tbsp. capers, drained
3 large green onions, finely sliced
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
2 tsp. lemon zest
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette (see recipe below)

Cook pasta according to package directions, removing about 2 minutes before done. While pasta is cooking, lay out broccoli, snap peas and mushrooms on a large (13x17) baking pan or in the bottom of a very large mixing bowl or bottom of a dutch oven. Drain pasta and place over the veggies. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap for about 30 minutes to let the heat of the pasta very slightly "cook" the veggies. (The veggies won't really cook, but it'll be just enough to take the raw edge off. The mushrooms, however, will turn dark and "cook" more than the peas and broccoli.)In the meantime, prepare the vinaigrette (see recipe below). Transfer pasta and veggies to a large mixing bowl or dutch oven. Add all remaining ingredients, including vinaigrette, and toss to combine. If not serving right away, only add about 1/4 cup of vinaigrette; refrigerate; add remaining vinaigrette immediately before serving. Yield: probably about 16 servings, though Pam says 8 -- we're still eating it and it's already served 8.

Lemon-Basil Vinaigrette
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. minced fresh garlic
1 tsp. sea salt (or more, if preferred)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Measure lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper and basil into a small bowl.
Whisk lightly till combined. Slowly whisk in oil in a slow, steady stream to make an emulsified vinaigrette. You can also make this in a blender if you prefer, but put the basil in whole and only blend till it's chopped the way you want.


Anonymous said...

your recipe for lemon basil vinegarette does not include basil...sooo....why is it called basil vinegarette?

Judy said...

Anonymous, you got me on that one. I must have been in a hurry that day. The recipe is fixed, so please give it a try and let me know how it turns out. Thanks for taking the time to bring the slip-up to my attention.

Anonymous said...

you mean the recipe does not include vinegar... even though you are calling it a vinaigrette. I guess you both were in a rush... is adding all that lemon supposed to make up for the fact that there is no vinegar. I think you would find that using vinegar would allow you to use way less lemon juice and allow for a smoother finish and less tart taste

Judy said...

Thanks for that tip, Anonymous. I'll try that next time I make it. But I have to say this was awfully good, not tart or sharp at all, the flavors blended beautifully.