Tis the season for sunny days, warm nights, sunscreen, shorts, bug bites and eating outside. Well, maybe all those things if you don't live here in Calgary. Our weather has not yet decided if it should be nice our or not.
The sixth edition of Weekend Cookbook Challenge is all about picnic food. My criteria for the meal was 1. nothing too messy and 2. refrigeration optional.
So I chose 2 recipes from Happy Days with the Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver.
The Best Pasta Salad
I am always on the lookout for pasta salad recipes. I love them, especially in the summer, but have never been crazy about any of my attempts. This one is really, really good. I especially love that the dressing is oil and vinegar based. The fact there is no mayonnaise makes it ideal for picnics AND my waistline.
11 oz small shell shaped pasta (I used vegetable gemelli)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 pint yellow cherry tomatos (I used all red)
1/2 pint red cherry tomatos
1 handful black olives, pitted
2 tb chives chopped
1 handful fresh basil
4 tb white wine vinegar
7 tb oive oil
salt and pepper
Boil pasta and garlic cloves until pasta is al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water. Set aside the garlic and place pasta in a large bowl. Chop the tomatos, olives, chives, basil and cucumber into pieces about half the size of the pasta. Toss with the pasta. Mush the garlic into a paste and whisk into the oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and sugar if desired. Pour over salad and toss well.
Pukka Pineapple with Bashed-up Mint Sugar
This recipe is so tasty, you won't belive it. The mint and pineapple together are a wonderful pair. AND I got to use mint out of my garden!
1 ripe pineapple
4 tb sugar
1 handful fresh mint leaves.
Peel the pineapple and cut in quarters. Remove the core and slice the fruit thinly. Lay out on a plate.
Put the sugar and mint in a mortar and pestle and mash until the mint is quite fine. Sprinkle over the pineapple and serve.