Saturday, July 2, 2011

4th of July Pasta Salad

Happy 4th of July to all. Have a fun, safe weekend. Remember why we are celebrating!

I made this pasta salad for a cookout tonight - it's so simple yet wonderfully refreshing to taste. A great dish to serve to the crowds. The addition of the garlic is so subtle, but lifts the salad to another level and with the addition of all the remaining fresh vegetables and herbs, rather than prepackaged ingredients - you can't go wrong. Use your best extra virgin olive oil for this one.

4th of July Pasta Salad

12 ounces small shell pasta
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pint yellow cherry tomatoes
1/2 pint red cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
1/2 yellow sweet pepper
1/2 cup black olives, pitted & chopped
2 TBLS fresh chives, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn
1 medium cucumber, diced small--leave the skins on
5 TBLS white wine vinegar
10 TBLS extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dry herb blend - oregano, rosemary, summer savory, thyme

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Throw in the pasta and garlic and simmer for about 5 minutes or until al dente, and drain. Save the garlic to one side for the dressing.
Put the pasta in a bowl. Chop the tomatoes, olives, pepper, chives, basil and cucumber into pieces about half the size of the pasta and add to the bowl. Smash the garlic cloves out of their skins and mince. Add the vinegar, olive oil, dry herb blend and seasoning. Drizzle this over the salad, and toss well. I made this pasta salad this morning and refrigerated it until we leave tonite. Perfect for a hot summer's nite. Enjoy!

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