Friday, May 20, 2011

I can't take the heat, so I'm getting out of the kitchen

It's official.  Summer has arrived in South Florida and unfortunately, the incredible heat and humidity will be staying with us for the next six months.  One would think, that after living here for thirty two years I would be accepting of this fact.  Well, I'm not.  My Pennsylvania blood still courses through my veins, and I will always miss the changes of seasons, and never get used to 147% humidity.  I don't like it.  Not one bit.

The challenge of cooking in this inferno is one thing I can deal with, and overcome.  I try not to turn the oven on - take a dip in the pool, do more grilling outside - take a dip in the pool, and tricked convinced my family that a salad really can be a meal.  This is one of the Babe's favorite - Pasta Salad Primavera!  I make a huge batch and we have it as our main dish on Saturday,  then devour the rest on Sunday as a side dish.  The flavors marinate and it becomes even more delicious the next day.

This goes perfectly with a nice Pinot Noir - try La Crema Sonoma Coast 2008, which offers "brooding, earthy aromas of dark cherry and forest floor, with a touch of spice. Flavors continue with ripe, black plum, hints of coffee and cocoa surrounded by a soft, velvety texture that ends in a fleshy, long finish." - Melissa Stackhouse, La Crema Winemaker 

You won't be disappointed.

Pasta Salad Primavera
(recipe can be easily doubled)

1 lb penne pasta, cooked al dente', rinsed under cool water and drained well
1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes packed in oil
2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, any color, chopped
4 stalks of celery, sliced
1 lb feta cheese, chunked
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro - you can use parsley, basil, mint or your favorite fresh herb
1/2 cup great extra virgin olive oil
2 T of the oil from the sun dried tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.  Can it get any easier?  This salad can be served at room temperature, or chilled.  Serve with a good crusty bread, and a nice glass of feels cooler already.

Eat happy - even in the heat!

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