Saturday, May 9, 2015

Garden Pasta Salad

Honestly, I have been in the kitchen and I have been cooking.  Just nothing post-worthy.  And, I made the cardinal sin of cooking:  if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

On my ever-going quest to clean out my freezer, I did a search on to find a home for some turkey kielbasa, chicken, and shrimp.  Up popped a gumbo recipe.  Now, thanks to Jim's friends Cabbage and Diane Simpson, I was able to procure the absolute world's best gumbo recipe known to man (see 9-30-12 post: Diane's Seafood Gumbo).  Better than anything we'd ever had in any restaurant on the Gulf Coast.

Now if my head had been put on straight, I would have compared the two recipes and simply have used Diane's recipe, just substituting the sausage and chicken for some of the seafood she uses (still wouldn't have come close, though).  Needless to say, The Girls got lots of leftover sausage and chicken, sans roux.  And needless to say, no way was I going to post that disaster.

But back to today.  We're not even to Memorial Day and we're already in the upper 80s so I pulled out some old (old meaning type on a typewriter many years ago) salad recipes to have around as either a light lunch or a mid-day snack.  This came from an old friend of mine who used to make this for potlucks at the law firm she worked at in Chicago.

This is perfect for summer, especially if you get farmer's market fresh vegetables.  It's also great for picnics because it doesn't need to be kept refrigerated (although I prefer it cold).

Since I usually make just a portion of the recipe below and will get multiple servings that I'll keep around for a couple of days, I kept the dressing on the side and just pour a bit on each portion at serving time so the pasta doesn't absorb all the dressing before you get to it.  The amounts are a guideline......shift them up or down depending on your taste.  I do prefer halved grape tomatoes unless you can get your hands on some garden-fresh tomatoes.  Use any kind of Italian salad dressing: Classic, Zesty, fat-free, or even that wonderful Garden Expressions Simple Vinaigrette Salad Dressing.


1 lb angel hair or vermicelli
2 medium chopped tomatoes
1 bunch chopped green onions
1 medium chopped green pepper
1 chopped cucumber
1/3 bottle of McCormick Salad Supreme seasoning
Prepared Italian Dressing

Cook pasta.  Drain and cool.  Add chopped vegetables and sprinkle with seasoning.  Dress at time of serving.

Recipe Source:  Cherie Bishop, Schereville, IN

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