Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Last-Minute Pasta Salad (a/k/a what's in my fridge)

I'm in a ranting kind of mood...tonight you get a play by play.  If you prefer pictures to words, skip ahead to the bottom.  Only 3 more days of school, 10 more days til my 2 week vacation...I can make it.  By the end of the 2 weeks, I expect to be counting down the hours til I get to go back to work.  Such is life.
 Sooooooo tomorrow is field day at GES.  And we're having a picnic lunch.  One of those things where the school supplies the hot dogs and things like desserts, salads, snacks, etc are assigned to each of the classes.  Faculty got salads.  And I have...nothing in my fridge that immediately jumped out saying "make me into a salad, make me into a salad!"  Also, I'm trying really hard not to go to the grocery store for the...fourth?...time in 7 days.  More than once per week is a lil excessive, don't you think?
   So right from the start, I assumed I'd either be making a fruit salad or a pasta salad.  Kind of hard to make a green salad when you have no lettuce what-so-ever.  Thought about the different kinds of fruit in my fridge...a mango that I need to eat ASAP before it gets too mealy, some cherries that need to be eaten but are probably already too moldy, strawberries that I AM going to eat and to not want to share, various other fruits that I will hopefully eat and that I really don't feel like peeling and chopping for a salad anyway...you get the idea. 
   I have pasta though.  And carrots.  But that would make a really boring pasta salad.  But, it seems like my best option.  Pot of water goes on the stove to boil, then the pasta goes in.  Penne?  nah.  Large elbows? probably not enough of them.  Shells?  looks like the best choice.  Besides, the box is labeled "Salad Shells."  Must be meant for salad...  Boil up the pasta, drain it, run some cold water over it, stick the strainer in the pot, fill with cold water to sit.
  2 carrots come out of the fridge, and get grated into a bowl.  What else do I have...how about some radishes.  Maybe if I grate them up their spiciness won't be so overpowering.  3 grated radishes go into the bowl.  I need something green...chives?  Sure, why not.  Chop up some chives as finely as I can without cutting myself, into the bowl they go. 
  Now...I need some kind of sauce for this pasta salad.  I really want to use pesto, but I can't find any.  Thought I had a new jar of mayonnaise, but apparently I'm delusional because I can't find it.  Have an old jar, but it's getting low and probably questionably edible at this point anyway.  Stare at the contents of the fridge for awhile...if I stare long enough, will something appear?  Wait, what is that behind the V8?  Could it be...it is!  A jar of pesto!  I've been wanting to use that all week!  Perhaps it's a good thing I didn't find it earlier...there wouldn't be any left for this pasta salad.  Big spoonful of pesto goes into the bowl.  Pour some olive oil on top. 
  Time to add the pasta.  By now, it's cold.  Lift the strainer out of the cold-water pot, shake water out, pour back and forth from empty pot to strainer to get rid of any water caught in the shells.  Pour about 1/2 the pasta into the bowl of stuff, mix it up good.  Add the rest of the pasta a bit at a time (waaayyyy easier to stir if you don't just fill the bowl right away.  Of course, if you want to get an extra dish dirty, you could just mix the stuff in a bigger bowl, instead of in the container you plan to store it in... I'm sick of washing dishes this week.
  Taste test.  Wouldn't want the embarassment of bringing an inedible dish of food to a pot-luck. 
  Yay pasta salad is done.  I wonder if anyone will eat it?  If not...more for me.  I'll probably be hungry...hot dogs are so not appetizing to my adult-self.  Can't remember exactly when I last ate a hot dog, and I would like to keep it that way.  I ate my fair share when I was a kid...

finished product: up close and personal

grated radishes and carrots

chopped chives

carrots, radishes, chives

bowl of pasta salad

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