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Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Anchovies

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Some version of this pasta salad always appears around these parts, and it is one of Tony's favorites.

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We tend towards creamier versions in the winter, when all we want to do is hole up and have some extra calories. In the summer I like lighter dressing, like some olive oil and lemon juice. Cold salads in the hot weather are the only thing I want to eat sometimes.

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When I make this, I tend to throw in whatever I have in the pantry or what's hiding in the fridge. This time it was a small jar of anchovies and some peperoncinis.

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We both like pungent, pickly, and (sometimes) fishy things, and this salad has all of these. It is very easy to make, and it packs a lot of flavor. The ingredients mix well together, and the salad goes well with anything grilled, burgers or fish. We usually make a ton of it, and have left overs for lunch and the next evening.

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Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Anchovies
(Serves 6-8)

You will need:
Pasta (13 oz by weight) - about 2-3 cups uncooked, 5-6 cups cooked
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 pickled peperoncini, sliced
2 anchovy fillets, patted, finely chopped
2 tsp capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
Cook the pasta, according to package directions, to slightly beyond al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Place in a bowl and season the pasta with lemon juice and salt and pepper. Add red onion, cherry tomatoes, peperoncini, anchovies, capers, and parsley. Toss well to combine. Add olive oil and mix. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Grapefruity Margaritas

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Drinks don't need a big introduction so I'll make this short.

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We had a grapefruit and some lemons lying around in the fridge which were beginning to get soft. Generally, a good use of left-over vegetables (limp carrots, yellowing celery, etc) lying around in the fridge, is to make a soup. But what to do with softening fruit that's been in the fridge too long? Make drinks, obviously.

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This margarita recipe was the result. We used agave syrup instead of sugar/simple syrup and I liked the end result because it is not very sweet, it is extremely refreshing and is particularly good with the salt around the glass.

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Adapted from Ina Garten.

Grapefruity Margaritas
(Serves 4)

You will need:
1 cup red grapefruit juice (about one grapefruit)
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice (we used 1 lemon and 2 limes)
4 oz tequila
1 1/2 tbsp agave syrup
about 3/4 cup ice
coarse salt (optional)
lime wedges

Directions:
In a blender, combine grapefruit, lemon and lime juices, tequila, agave syrup, and ice. Blend (the amount of ice will cool the drink but won't turn it into a slush; alternatively you can also combine these ingredients in a shaker and strain into the glasses). Pour some salt on a plate. Run a lime wedge around the rim of each glass. Place the rim of each glass in the salt and twist slightly. Fill with the cocktail and add a few ice cubes. Decorate with lime wedges. Welcome to margaritaville!
 

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