Monday, July 4

A New Pasta Salad

Last night we ate dinner with my in-laws, as we usually do on Sundays. It was our turn to host. Since none of us will be attending any 4th of July parties or picnics, I decided to stick with a picnic type menu with just a few "improvements".

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We can’t grill out on our patio so I put my George Foreman Grill to use instead. I did up some hamburgers stuffed with blue cheese, a huge pot of sweet corn, and a lovely pasta salad that I adapted from an article they did in the July 2004 issue of Fine Cooking. I really love that magazine.

Start off by making the following:

Pesto Vinaigrette

1-½ cups of lightly packed basil leaves, (Yes, from my garden)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup fresh, finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano, (No, I didn’t grate it myself)
3 Tablespoons of red or white wine vinegar

2 Tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice

½ teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest

2 teaspoons of pressed garlic

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

I blended all of the above ingredients in my food processor until smooth, although a blender would work. Meanwhile I cooked my pasta

½ lb of rotini pasta

I forgot to take a photo before hand,
but the little bit of leftovers will
make a yummy lunch.
And prepared the rest of the ingredients.

2 cups of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 cups of asparagus, cut into 2-inch diagonals, lightly cooked
2 cups of green beans, cut into 2-inch diagonals, lightly cooked

I just used the same big pot of boiling water for both veggies, cooked the asparagus and then scooped them out with a slotted spoon and then cooked the green beans

½ cup of toasted pinenuts, ¼ cup mixed through and ¼ cup for garnish

Just toss it all together and garnish with the pinenuts. I prepared this first so it had about an hour for the flavors to meld before we ate. I have to say it was a roaring success. I really followed the magazine's guidelines on this round. I really liked the flavors, but next time I might try to get yellow string beans for a better color contrast and add some fresh mozzarella, some diced red onions, or scallions, just because, as my husband says, I can never make a recipe the same way twice.

I also picked up a new beer, Red Hook Sunrye Ale. This is their summer brew, so it’s nice and light. I’m really picky about the beer I’ll drink, but we all enjoyed this.

We even managed to find a movie that we could watch together. I picked up Meet the Fockers, which was met with much suspension, but was enjoyed my all. After the disastrous picks the last couple get togethers**, a nice light comedy seems to be about the only thing that we can get everybody to find acceptable. It wasn’t stellar by any stretch of the imagination, but was good. I think that Dustin Hoffman stole the show. I don’t know if it was our DVD or a bad editing job, but the last third of the movie seemed to have the vocals slightly off from the picture.

** While I mentioned the ill reaction to Team America, I didn’t tell you that they then put in Dr. No, which I didn’t like the first time and have to endure on a regular basis because my husband likes to have it on for background noise. I also never mentioned the incident before that with Pearl Harbor because I was pissed enough with the whining about it that I was ready to kick everybody out of the apartment, including my husband who picked it out in the first place.


Bearette24 said...


Meet the Fockers was surprisingly good...surpassed our low expectations :)

J Bo said...

I love pasta salad and this one sounds delish!

Awww...a 4th with no bbq? Did you have to work?

Lora said...

We were all suprised by the Meet the Fockers. I fully expected booing.

No, I didn't have to work, but my husband did.

Plus I'm an introvert married to an introvert, living in a small apartment and we can't grill on our patio. Our only relatives in town are both introverts (the she being very serious and overly concerned about heat expoure etc, the he being an old crumudgeon that if force to attend such a function will sit in the corner and complain while spouting off politic ideas formed before my mother was born).

I've got a couple friends here, but one's an introvert whose having surgery today while his extroverted fiancee had to work. And while there were other opportunities, I'd much rather sit and read a book then hang out with a bunch of people I don't know well.