Happy Monday everyone! We’re still on the road to Virginia, so this week I thought I’d share with you a few fun family guest posts. The first one is from my mom, and I think it’s a keeper! Hope you enjoy!
Over the last year I’ve enjoyed reading a.slo.life, the food and recipes inspiring many a healthful, creative and seasonal meal in my own kitchen. When Kelsey asked me to post as a guest author last week, I’ve mentally selected and then rejected several recipes to share. After lots of thought, I finally settled on one of my personal seasonal favorites, Summer Harvest Pasta Salad.
When planning meals for my husband and myself, my goal is always to shop and cook what’s in season; fresh, local, abundant, and organic if possible. This time of year much of my produce comes from my garden and/or the local Farmer’s Market supplemented by the nearby Whole Foods. Within those guidelines, the vegetables in this salad often vary according to what’s available, but the pasta base remains pretty much the same.
1 pound box of fusilli pasta cooked al dente ( I like Whole Foods organic)
Annie’s Roasted Red Pepper salad dressing (A great staple to keep on hand!)
Today’s additions included:
2 ears of fresh corn, shucked and pan grilled
1/2 a red bell pepper, pan grilled
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
Olive oil for grilling
1/2 cup of feta cheese and olives in oil (A favorite from Whole Foods Olive Bar)
1 cup of fresh cherry tomatoes, halved
3 small cucumbers, peeled and sliced (I used Lemon cucumbers from the garden, a seasonal favorite!)
2 cups of arugula, washed
1/2 cup of fresh herbs, I used oregano and thyme from the garden. Basil would work well too.
Bring a large stock pot full of water to boil, add pasta and 1t salt. Cook according to package directions, about 12 minutes
Drain the pasta and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add 1/2 a bottle of Annie’s Roasted Red Pepper salad dressing while pasta is still warm. Add lemon juice and zest. Mix well
Meanwhile, add about 1T of olive oil to the bottom of a heavy grill pan or cast iron skillet. Warm over medium heat (high temperature will scorch the oil) Place the shucked corn in the pan, covering with a press if available. Turn frequently until corn is browned evenly on all sides. Repeat with the red pepper
When cooled, remove kernels from the corn with a sharp knife. Slice red peppers into small strips, add both to the bowl with the pasta.
Add the remaining vegetables, the olives and feta, mixing well.
Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired. Since the salad dressing and feta and olive mix contain quite a bit of salt, I did not add any additional seasonings.
Refrigerate for a few hours to meld the flavors. Just before serving, toss in the arugula.
Put pasta on a platter or decorative bowl. Garnish with thin lemon slices and sprigs of fresh herbs.
Serves 6-8 as a side, 4-6 as a main dish.