We ended up having last minute house guests (much loved family members) arrive on Friday night. As happy as we were to have them here, we were so busy that I never had a chance to pop onto my laptop and check in with the blogosphere. And, since we went out for dinner or ordered in each night they were here, I did absolutely zero cooking over the weekend.
They headed for home on Sunday morning, but alas poor Hubbs woke up feeling deathly ill, with what I believe was that nasty stomach bug that seems to be making it's way around the universe right now. Suffice it to say that I had a pretty quiet Mother's Day, spent taking care of my sick sweetie, catching up on laundry and getting the guest room back in "ready mode" for the next time we have visitors. Luckily, Hubby felt well enough by Sunday evening to keep down a little tea and dry toast, but that was the extent of my food preparation for the weekend. Until yesterday, that is....
We had warm, muggy days from Friday night through Sunday, that have since turned into warm, muggy, rainy weather today and the way I tend to respond to close, cloying days like these, is to shoot for something that's easy to prepare, requires little to no stove top or oven time and doesn't fill us up with multiple courses. One of the first things that came to my mind was pasta salad. It is "that time of year", after all. Hmmm... Why is it that I don't really make pasta or potato salads during the colder months??
Anywhoooo... In order to make a pasta salad, one usually needs some sort of dressing to moisten it and give it some pizazz. I love a classic macaroni salad made with mayo, but I didn't think Hubby's tummy was quite ready for that. I've been wanting to make a pasta salad for a while now and I've also had a bit of a craving for Greek salad. So, why not a Greek pasta salad? Here's the recipe for my Garlicky Greek Vinaigrette. The recipe for the salad itself will follow this post. (HERE)
Garlicky Greek Salad Dressing
(amounts are below)
- Olive or Vegetable Oil
- Cider or Wine Vinegar
- Lemon Juice
- Lemon Zest
- 2-4 Cloves Garlic
- Fresh Parsley
- Dried Oregano
- Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper
The key to all good basic vinaigrettes is to follow a few simple "rules". Once you know these, you can make endless and delicious combinations to dress salads and marinate and/or baste meats or vegetables.
- Always use three parts oil/fat to one part acid.
- Additions like mustard and egg yolk help to thicken and emulsify a dressing.
- The sky's the limit when it comes to herbs and spices.
- A little bit of white or brown sugar will help to balance out acidity.
- Just about any kind of vinegar and/or citrus juice can be used as the acid in a vinaigrette.
1 Recipe is:
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 1/3 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
- the juice from 1/2 of a small lemon
- the zest from that lemon
- 3 small cloves of garlic
- a tablespoon or so of fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
- a healthy pinch of Kosher salt and
- a good grinding of black pepper
I just throw all of the ingredients, except the oil and vinegar, into the food processor and give it several pulses until it resembles a thick paste. Then I add the vinegar and drizzle in the oil, as the processor is running.
I highly recommend that you make a double or even triple recipe of this dressing. It's great on all kinds of salads and it makes an excellent marinade for grilled meats and vegetables.
When using this as a dressing for pasta salad, pour 1/3 to 1/2 of the dressing over the cooked and slightly cooled pasta and pop it in the fridge for an hour or so. It will absorb into the pasta and deepen the flavor of the finished salad. Add the rest of the dressing a few minutes before serving.
Opa!-pa-sta Salad recipe HERE
I'm linking up with these fine parties this week: