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Entries in Picnic (5)

Wednesday
Jul032013

Broccoli and Feta Pasta Salad

Broccoli pasta salad

I love a good pasta salad. They are the perfect summer dish, great as a side to a grilled meal or eaten in a big bowl as a main course. They are so versatile too, made up of seemingly random ingredients, tossed with pasta and dressing, creating a perfectly easy dish. Aside from broccoli, I generally have all of the ingredients of this pasta salad in my fridge or pantry at all times. I picked up a head of broccoli at the store for about 75 cents and got to work throwing this salad together.  We had it along side of chipotle bacon burgers, which sadly I didn't get a picture of, but this salad made enough for us to eat for another 2 days.  Between the fact that it was so cheap to put together, so easy to make, and so delicious, I can see this pasta salad becoming a summertime staple in our house!

1 pound Tri-Color Pasta 
4 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
1 medium Broccoli Head, chopped into 1/2-inch florets
8 ounces Feta Cheese, crumbled
1 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and return to a pan or a large bowl. Add one tablespoon of oil and toss until well coated; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli and cook until crisp-tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the broccoli, feta, and olives to the bowl with the pasta and toss. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the vinegar, then pour over the pasta and toss. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until serving.

SOURCE: The Kitchn

Monday
Jun242013

Cowboy Salsa

Cowboy salsa

It's Secret Recipe Club reveal day! This month, I was assigned to Kirstin's blog, Loving Life, where she shares stories about life along with great recipes. She's been blogging since 2007, so it took me quite a while to get through every single post and choose a recipe to make. While there were many delicious sounding recipes, this was the one I chose to go with. It screamed summer to me, possibly because it reminded me of a dish my friend brought to a picnic last summer. Some of my out of town family came in for a bicycling event this past weekend, and to celebrate, my aunt and uncle had everyone over to their cottage for a cookout. Even though my aunt told everybody not to bring anything, I thought that this would be the perfect thing to share with my family, and I was right. Since the sauce is not cream-based, it was safe to be outside on a hot day. Everybody enjoyed it very much. Thanks for sharing, Kirstin!

1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Shoe Peg Corn, drained
1 small Onion, diced
2 Avocado, diced (I only used one)
1 small jar Chopped Pimiento, drained
1/2 cup Oil
1/2 Sugar
1/4 cup White Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Red WIne Vinegar
2 tablespoons Tiger Sauce (I couldn't find this, so I used Tobasco instead) 

In small bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, vinegars, and hot sauce. In a large bowl, mix together the black beans, corn, onion, avocado, and pimiento. Pour the dressing over the top and toss to coat evenly. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with tortilla chips.

SOURCE: Loving Life

Tuesday
May282013

Dilly Potato Salad

Potato salad

Yesterday, we (unofficially) welcomed summer with a very productive day. After waking up early, making banana bread, and going for a run, we walked to the Memorial Day Parade that marched right past our street, which made for very easy viewing, and then we worked on our garden. Since we are getting a new fence installed, and since our backyard is mostly clay, which is not so conducive to gardening, we decided to plant our vegetables in large pots this year. We have 12 pots in all, containing several types of tomatoes, a few kinds of peppers, some zucchini, and some yellow squash. Hopefully they all do well, and maybe next year, we can build a more permanent garden along our new fence. After such a long day outside, the only thing that seemed fitting to have for dinner was all-American picnic fare. We grilled up some burgers and I tossed together this potato salad. It was incredibly easy to make, and it chilled while I finished cleaning up the yard. We have a few more things to do before we are done with gardening this year, but so far, we are pretty happy with our progress!

3 pounds Red Potatoes
2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/4 cup Buttermilk
2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup Fresh Dill, chopped
Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Celery, chopped
1/2 cup Red Onion, chopped 
1 Hardboiled Egg, chopped

Place the potatoes and salt in a large pot of cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and can easily be pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, dill, and black pepper, then set aside. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into quarters and place them in a large bowl, along with the celery, onion, and egg. Pour the dressing over the top of the potato mixture and gently toss to coat. Refrigerate for about an hour to allow for the flavors to meld. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Serves 6-8.

SOURCE: Slightly Adapted from Ina Garten

Sunday
May052013

Spring Vegetable Tortellini Salad

 

Now that spring is in full swing and the warm weather is here, I'm constantly on the look out for new dishes to try that  don't require me to use my oven. Since I love pasta salads, especially when they are made with tortellini, as soon as I saw this one, I knew it was bound to be on our table. Since Joel is obsessed with prosciutto, I knew that this would win bonus points with him, too. I made this salad to go along with some grilled sausages, since I'm apparently all about the side dishes (at least that is what Joel says), but I think this would also be a great stand alone meal on a hot day in the summer. Light, refreshing, and delicious--the best words to describe this salad. 

For the Salad:
9 ounces Fresh Cheese Tortellini (I used a 12 ounce frozen bag…turned out perfectly)
1/2 pound Asparagus, woody ends removed
1/2 cup Frozen Peas
2-3 slices Prosciutto, chopped 
1/4 cup Herbs, chopped (I used parsley and thyme) 
Dressing, recipe below 

Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Cut the asparagus into 2-inch pieces and add them to the tortellini for the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain the pasta and asparagus and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again. Toss with the peas and set aside. In a small skillet over medium heat, cook the prosciutto until crispy and lightly browned, stirring often. Drain on a paper towel. In a large bowl, toss the tortellini, asparagus, peas, and herbs. Top with the dressing and stir until combined. Sprinkle with the prosciutto and serve. Serves 4.

For the Dressing:
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
Tiny squeeze of Honey

 Combine the zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, and honey in a jar with a lid. Make sure that the lid is tightly secured and shake the jar until the ingredients have combined. 

SOURCE: Pink Parsley

Monday
May282012

Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, and Green Olivida

Olivida pasta salad

Happy Memorial Day! This month for Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Amy's blog, Fearless Homemaker. I absolutely loved reading through her blog. She seems like such a fun girl…and you have to read about her surprise wedding. How awesome! After bookmarking several recipes, it all came down to this pasta salad, in honor of the kickoff to outdoor grilling and picnic meals! I did swap green olives for a mixture of Greek olives, because that is all that my grocery store had in their olive bar container. (In the process of making this pasta salad, I discovered that a cherry pitter does NOT make a good olive pitter like the woman at the kitchen store told me!) When all was said and done, this pasta salad was every bit as good as I imagined it would be. In fact, I'm looking forward to having another bowl this afternoon, before I walk down to my corner to watch the Memorial Day Parade! Thanks for a great recipe, Amy! 

1 Garlic Clove, peeled
2 cups Pitted Green Olives, coarsely chopped and divided
3 tablespoons Capers, drained
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes 
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 pound Pasta (I used gemelli)
2 pints Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, halved (I only used 1)
8 ounces Small Fresh Mozzarella Balls
2 tablespoons Fresh Oregano, chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Put the garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add 1 cup of chopped olives, capers, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, and crushed red pepper flakes. Pulse about 6 times to chop coarsely. With the machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup of oil, forming a coarse puree (almost like tapenade texture). Transfer the olive mixture to a bowl. Stir in the remaining cup of olives and season to taste with salt and pepper. (This mixture can be made up to 3 days ahead of time, just cover and refrigerate). Cook the pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Drain and allow to cool (I ran my pasta under cold water to cool it down). Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil over the pasta and toss to coat (I skipped this). Add the olive mixture, tomatoes, mozzarella, and oregano to the pasta and toss to coat. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. 

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