Thursday, June 2, 2011

Broccoli and Pasta Salad

Yesterday, in the morning, when I was planning what to have for dinner the sun was shinning brightly. It made me think of those hot summer days when the last thing one wants to eat is something heavy. It made me think of salad.

Yes, salad , a nice cool and refreshing salad.

But as the day wore on the temperature never seemed to. It never really got past 70 degrees and there was a definite breeze which coaxed me into a sweater, long pants, and closed toed shoes.

I’m not one for even the slightest chill in the air.

And when dinner time rolled around, well pasta salad was the plan.

I do think I’m rushing those warm summer evenings a bit.

But the salad was delicious just the same.

I based this on a Martha Stewart recipe with a few changes here and there.

Broccoli and Pasta Salad

2 pounds of broccoli
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
12 ounces penne pasta
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
juice of ½ lemon
8 ounce jar of roasted red bell peppers
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
½ cup walnuts, broken into pieces and toasted

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wash and dry the broccoli. Separate the florets into bite size pieces, trim about an inch from the stems and peel the outer layer and then slice diagonally into ½ inch slices. Spread out in a single layer ,on a large baking sheet, two if necessary. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for about 20 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile boil a large pot of salted water and cook the penne pasta as the package directs. Drain the cooked pasta and rinse with cold water until cool and drain again. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl add the chopped garlic and the juice of the lemon. Whisk in the other tablespoon of olive oil.
4. In a large serving bowl add the pasta, toss with the dressing, and add the peppers, walnuts, and broccoli and toss again.
5. This may be served chilled or at room temperature.

Everyone enjoyed this salad. And I think it would make an excellent take along for a picnic or an outdoor concert.

And that is this gal’s view for today.

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