Tuesday, January 25, 2011

An unfashionable pasta salad

A couple of days of bad weather and I've started to panic that summer is already over - and that I haven't made the most of it. Ridiculous really, because we should have another month or so of sunshine and barbecues and - with any luck - a proper holiday by the sea to come yet.
In the meantime, I've been digging out some old summer favourites. Seasonal recipes can be like clothes - what suited you one season might look terribly outdated the next - but this is still worth another whirl. It might be horribly out of date by the time the northern hemisphere summer rolls around, but the rest of you should give it a bash at your next barbie (mate)...

Nectarine Pasta Salad
Pasta salads might be a bit uncool and I know the ingredients for this sound unlikely, but I urge you to put your prejudices aside. Its fantastic barbecue fodder as you can make it several hours beforehand and it goes really well with barbecued chicken pieces or pork kebabs. For best results, make sure the nectarines are perfectly ripe and dont overcook the pasta. Serves six.

500 good quality penne or fusilli, cooked in plenty of boiling salted water until al dente (follow packet directions if youre unsure) and drained
3 carrots, peeled and cut into julienne strips
1 kg yellow-flesh nectarines, cut into wedges
4 spring onions, sliced
Handful of fresh mint leaves, shredded (strip the leaves from the stems, roll them up into a parcel and snip them into ribbons with a pair of scissors - you’ll feel just like a proper cook off the telly)

4Tbsp olive oil
4Tbsp soy sauce
4Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted in a dry frying pan
4Tbsp finely chopped root ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Combine the cooked pasta, carrots, nectarines and spring onions. Shake the dressing ingredients together in a screw top jar and pour over the pasta mixture. Stir well, then tip into a serving bowl. This can be made a couple of hours in advance and stored in the fridge, but make sure it has at least 20 minutes at room temperature before serving.
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  1. Lucy, I've never tried it, but I think nectarines would make a lovely addition to a pasta salad to go with barbecued chicken or pork. I refuse to buy out-of-season imports (and it's winter here), so I'll keep this in mind for July when I'm likely to get my hands on some really good organic nectarines.

  2. Nectarines in pasta salad? that's the surprise ingredient. I'm sure it's lovely though. I'll give this a try when it's summer in the North East of England (that couple of days in July or August or never)...

  3. I've just maid a roasted beetroot and roasted nectarine salad (with feta, rocket, balsamic and toasted almonds) so I am right into putting nectarines in savoury dishes but what I really came online to say was thank goodness for only one more week of January for your 'We Should Cocoa' challenge!http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10701792

  4. ahhh the old fruit in a salad trick, i made the classic watermelon, fetta, mint salad this weekend for a bbq, its a crowd pleaser even with the kids which is always a bonus ...

  5. Wow, now that is a blast from the past!! My Mum used to make a pasta salad similar to this, although nothing as nice as nectarines went in it, she used grapefruits and oranges and grapes. Must remember this for when barbie season rolls around here (even if I do freeze my bits off cooking on the barbie in winter I still need to wait for the fruit to be in season lol)

  6. Fashion, smashion Lucy, if it tastes good then please pass me a large dish of it.

  7. This is a great unique recipe that I have to try! Thanks!


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