I’ve gotten into a good habit of late. After I drop Layla off at school, I come home and make lunch or however much of lunch can be made ahead of time. A recent favourite is Camargue rice with black beans loosely based on this Bon Appetit recipe. Another is a mung bean noodle salad with lots of lime juice, fish sauce, roast peanuts and herbs from my balcony. And then there is this one. A pasta salad, where the pasta makes up about a fifth of the whole deal.
You take a couple of small shallots or a red onion, or even the white part of 3 spring onions (but not a yellow onion) and you douse them in white vinegar. Probably about 4 tablespoons. I don’t measure my dressing. I taste it. If there is some left over, I use it the next day or get creative with it in the evening. It’s only a problem when there isn’t enough. A healthy pinch of salt goes in and then I leave it in the fridge until just before I dress the salad, when I add roughly the same volume of olive oil. Keeping in mind that I will be liberally glugging more olive oil over the rest of the salad.I cut up ripe tomatoes. 4 big ones will do. They go at the bottom of the bowl, with sea salt and pepper sprinkled on top. The dressing I made, with olive oil added to it get’s tossed through.
I boil some pasta. Penne have nice ridges to them. Today I used orzo. When they are al dente, I drain them (but don’t rinse them) let them cool slightly and add them to the tomatoes. A rinsed can of chickpeas goes on top. Two sticks of celery (an essential flavour in this salad) leaves and all.
About 6 basil leaves, sliced into chiffonade and despite all the scare mongering, they won’t oxidize and even if they should – who really cares? Chives are nice, but my bunch has mostly dried up, leaving lilac coloured blossoms, so I use those instead. And Chia seeds. (Because I put them on everything lately since I’ve read that they are going to make me live forever.)
These portions serve 2 people. And I know that I am not very good at blogging about the food I cook because I sometimes don’t specify quantities and worse have been known to leave out ingredients entirely!
-White wine vinegar (about 4 Tbs)
-Extra virgin olive oil (about 4 Tbs)
-4 big ripe tomatoes
-1 can of chickpeas
-2 sticks of celery
-handful kalamata or nice green olives
-About a cup of dried pasta (ermm, cooked)
-Chia seeds, if you’ve got them or perhaps some poppy seeds for a similar crunch