Thursday, May 30, 2013

Nuts For Pasta Salad

Tis the season to add plenty of cold fare to the weekly line up.  The great thing about pasta, farro and quinoa salads is that you can whip them up when ever you have a few extra minutes and have them in the fridge ready to go when you need them.  Here we have a Toasted Almond Pasta Salad from the Food Network website, which I did not alter in any way (well that's not totally true but if I had enough thyme I wouldn't have) and because I don't feel like typing it all out just click that link for the recipe.  It's nice and simple, easy to throw together ahead of time.  Here's how it goes...
 Cook up some pasta, drain and set aside.
While you're boiling water, toast up some slivered almonds.  If you have a toaster oven, use it.  I think it seems silly to heat the entire oven for a few nuts.
 As you can see from my herb pile, I didn't have much thyme to spare so I added oregano and chives.  This recipe only calls for thyme but I think just about any of your favorite herbs could work so use what ever you have/like.  This combo was quite nice.
The dressing starts with a little olive oil and some fresh lemon juice.
Add shallots, herbs, fresh ground pepper and red pepper flakes and give it a good whisk.  If you're not familiar with shallots, give them a try.  I love them.  They are like onions but more mild and are just really good.  Raw onion in this dressing might be a little too strong.
Toss it all together and add some grated parm, salt and pepper to taste and you have one nice pasta salad on your hands.
I like to toss in a little leftover grilled chicken and call it lunch! If it seems a little dry the next day, try adding a splash of red wine vinegar, that seems to do the trick. I'll leave you with the link again.  Enjoy and don't be afraid to change things up a smidge!

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