Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pasta Salad

I've been wanting to make pasta salad but it's been so cold I've only wanted to eat hot food.  But now it's warmed up a bit...
3 cups dried bite-size pasta (penne, bowtie, corkscrew...), boiled up in salted water until al dente (I'm using an interesting, beautiful little pasta I picked up at the Hillcrest Farmers Market)
1/2 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1/2 pound 5 grain tempeh, cubed small
olive oil
2 tablespoons tamari (soy sauce)
balsamic vinegar
1/2 red onion, sliced very thin, from Schaner Farm
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, from Schaner Farm
1 small romanesco cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces, from Suzie's Farm
large handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped, from Suzie's Farm
3 baby heads of gem romaine lettuce, chopped, from Suzie's Farm
1 teaspoon dried oregano
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

In a loaf pan, bake the tempeh cubes tossed with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, tamari, and a tablespoon of vinegar, at 350° for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.  Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.  Enjoy slightly warm or allow to cool (it will keep beautifully in the refrigerator; this is a good one to keep around to pack for lunches).

Makes 6-8 servings

Mix it up the beans with whatever you might have on hand (kidney, cannellini...) or skip beans altogether.
Don't have or don't like tempeh?  Skip it.
Use whatever herbs and veggies are in season: basil, tomato, celery, summer squash, bell pepper...
Use other greens or leave greens out.
Use other vinegars (such as red wine).
Try adding olives or toasted pine nuts.

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