In celebration of summertime and national holidays, why don't we share some of our favorite summer foods?
My contribution is modest, but a family favorite: pasta salad. We can live on this for days [unless my son comes home with friends, in which case it doesn't last], and it is the perfect picnic/potluck offering. My cooking tends toward "a little of this, a little of that," so this recipe is not exactly precise; however, it is great in many variations -- add or subtract what you choose!
1 lb. dry pasta [rotini, penne, elbows, bowties, etc. -- I especially like rainbow rotini for its shape and colors]. Get a big pot of water boiling, and cook to al dente, then drain and rinse with cold water.
While the water is heating, toss the following into a big plastic container or bowl [I use a 1.6 gal. container, to allow room for mixing]:
* 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 can black olives [whole or sliced], drained and rinsed
* 1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained [no rinse] - slice to smaller pieces if desired
* some green onions, sliced thinly
* handful of frozen corn niblets
* handful of frozen shelled edamame, baby lima beans, whatever -- they'll thaw
* other fresh or cooked veggies as desired; chopped bell peppers are colorful and tasty
* some italian salad dressing [start with maybe 1/2 cup]
* a few dashes of sweet rice vinegar, to add a gentle tang and cut the oiliness of the dressing
* salt, pepper, some fresh or dried basil, garlic, dill, hot paprika, oregano -- be a little generous, because this will flavor all the pasta, too
When the pasta is cooked, rinsed, and drained, toss it in with the veggies/beans/dressing, and mix well. Add more dressing, tiny bit of vinegar, and/or spices as needed. For a little more zing, you can add a few dashes of hot sauce. You want enough dressing to flavor the pasta, but not so much that it is swimming. Chill for a couple of hours and let the flavors sink in.
Additional yummies can be added before chilling: small chunks of fresh mozzarella; sprinkle of blue cheese; cherry tomatoes; whatever you have around.
What does your family like in summer?