Sunday, July 24, 2011

Layered Pizza Pasta Salad

Find yourself looking for another uniquely different dish? Want something out of the ordinary to take to the summer BBQ/Pot-Luck? Here's a pasta salad that's a twist on take-out and everyone is going to enjoy!

Layered Pizza Pasta Salad
1 box (16 oz) rotini pasta (I like using the tri-color rotini)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 package (3.5 oz) sliced pepperoni
1 container (8 oz) fresh mozzarella ciliegini (cheese balls), drained and halved
3 green onions, with tops, sliced
1/2 cup sliced pimento-stuffed green olives
1 cup zesty Italian dressing
1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook and drain pasta as according to package instructions. Rinse with cold water to cool; drain.

In a 3 or 4 qt clear bowl (unfortunately, mine is not so clear, but it's all I had), layer 4 cups pasta, 1/2 teaspoon Italian season, then in order red bell pepper, tomatoes, green bell pepper, remaining pasta, remaining 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, the pepperoni, mozzarella, green onions and olives.

Pour dressing over salad; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and refrigerate 2 hours.

Stir just before serving!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Radish Pasta

Here's another quick & easy summer time meal that's light and delicious! This recipe utilizes all the wonderful "French Breakfast Radishes" I grew in my garden this year. Makes a great lunch or light dinner. This dish also uses the radishes greens which are very good for you. If you can't find radishes with their greens attached, you can substitute a few handfuls of baby spinach.

All you need to put this together is:

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound of linguine or other long pasta
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 large bunch of radishes, thinly sliced, greens rinsed well and roughly chopped.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot. Add 2 Tablespoons butter and toss until butter is melted; keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 1 Tablespoon butter over medium-high. Add garlic and radishes and cook, stirring occasionally, until radishes are crisp-tender, 3 minutes.

Add radish greens and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

Add to the pasta and stir to combine. Add enough of the reserved pasta water to create a light sauce that coats pasta. Now, if you'd really like to make this a meal, in that same skillet, melt another Tablespoon of butter and toss in 1 pound of peeled and deveined shrimp, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until opaque throughout, 4 minutes. Add shrimp to the pasta and toss.

To serve along with this, I sliced up a baguette into "crostini", toasted them, quickly, rubbed them with a cut clove of garlic, sprinkled some shredded smoked mozzarella cheese on them, put them back under a broiler just to melt the cheese.

Serve this along with the pasta and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Watermelon Pops

After making that really tasty Watermelon Gazpacho, I found myself with an abundance of extra watermelon. Wondering what to do with it, and summer temperatures have been in the sweltering upper 90s, I threw together these refreshing Watermelon Pops!

Really simple to make and only 2 ingredients: 6 cups of cubed, seedless watermelon and 4 tablespoons of sugar!

Working in batches, place watermelon and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until completely liquefied, stirring watermelon as necessary so all cubes are blended Linkand mixture is smooth. Pour into 3-ounce ice-pop molds or plastic cups. Insert sticks or wooden spoons into puree, and freeze until solid, at least 8 hours.Link
When frozen, dip the mold in warm water for a few seconds to release the pops and enjoy! Make extras, these won't last long at all!

Triple Citrus-Ade

With temperatures soaring to near triple digits, why not cool off with something better than ordinary lemonade. You can whip up a batch of this refreshing triple citrus-ade at a moments notice, and enjoy the delicious taste of your favorite citrus fruits all in one!

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice (from 3 oranges), strained
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 3 limes), strained
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 3 lemons), strained
orange, lime, and lemon slices, for serving

In a heatproof bowl, combine sugar with 1/2 cup hot water and stir until sugar dissolves. Add 2 cups cold water and fruit juices. To serve, transfer to a pitcher with ice and top with citrus slices. Store in refrigerator up to 3 days!

For this and many other great summer food and drink ideas, pick up the Everyday Food Special "Summer Entertaining" issue on newstands and in stores now or order online!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Watermelon Gazpacho

Summer is in full swing and a deliciously different and healthy way of taking advantage of the best summer produce is this unique gazpacho made up of fresh watermelon, and packed with a few fresh vegetables. Traditionally, gazpacho is a Spanish cold tomato based soup containing many raw vegetables and herbs. This version is a little sweet a little savory and perfect served anytime during the hot summer weather, and the colors are just gorgeous!


5 cups peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped watermelon, plus 1 cup finely chopped
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1 cup peeled, seeded, and diced cucumber
1 cup diced celery (about 2 ribs)
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper (about 1 pepper)
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, minced
1/4 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced
Juice of 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons)
1-1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper, minced

Combine the 5 cups of watermelon and the cranberry juice in the bowl of a food processor, and puree until mixture is smooth.

Pass through a fine sieve into a large container, discarding pulp. You should have 3 cups of strained liquid.

Add all the remaining ingredients to the watermelon liquid, and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator until soup in well chilled, at least 1 hour.

Serve cold and enjoy. Store the rest in the refrigerator up to 1 day!