It's been hot. We've had an almost unbearable heatwave last week. And once again cold dishes and salads are my friends.
Truth is, I don't remember much of the last month and a half of summer. Save for a few stolen moments.
For they do feel like stolen. Even the weekends, when it's supposed to be my time, the little that's left of that, aren't mine. They belong to my work, mostly, but not to my husband. Or me.
So when I do get a break, we don't waste any time. Sometimes, we just grab some picnic food and rush outside. This salad lends itself well to picnics.
I found this almost anemone-looking pasta at Whole Foods, along with some pink shrimp from Key West. And the two ingredients became an inspiration for this shrimp and pasta salad.
I've mentioned before that when I'm busy I tend to fall into default recipes. Ones that I know will work, for I do not have the time or patience for failed experiments. However, the combination of ingredients for this recipe could hardly fail - some crunchy vegetables, shrimp, pasta, lemon juice and cholesterol-free mayonnaise.
On Saturdays we've discovered a neighbor town that has a farmer's market on Saturdays. Ours has it during daytime on Thursdays which unfortunately I can't make to on time. But I do love our Jersey Fresh produce, and so we've been spending a few hours on Saturdays getting all sorts of interesting things (although mostly Ukrainian-girl approved pickles from the pickle stand).
A couple of weeks ago we got some garlic scapes - flowering shoots of young garlic, which I've used in this salad. They have all of the flavor but not the punch (or aftertaste) of the garlic root. Since these are seasonal, feel free to substitute with chives.
Shrimp and Noodle Salad
(Serves about 6)
You will need:
2 1/2 cups uncooked pasta (such as rotini)
2/3 lb raw medium-sized shrimp (30/40 to a pound), peeled and deveined
1 red bell pepper, cored and finely chopped
2 tsp garlic scapes, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp bulb onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp capers
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp low-fat or canola-based mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring two medium pots of water to a boil. Add a sprinkle of salt and pasta to one pot, and cook until just past al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool completely.
2. Add the shrimp to the second pot of boiling water; wait until water boils again, then boil for about 3-5 minutes, until fully cooked and the shrimp turns bright pink. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool completely. Pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Place the pasta in a large mixing bowl. Add bell pepper, garlic scapes, bulb onion, parsley and capers to the mixing bowl. In a measuring cup, mix lemon juice, mayonnaise and salt and pepper. Add to the pasta and mix well. Add the shrimp and toss to combine. Serve or refrigerate until needed.