Friday, August 22, 2008

Good Taste: (Quick) Summertime Dinner

What is the perfect summer recipe? Well, there are several criteria: 1) No oven involved, 2) should take no longer than the amount of time to cook pasta, and 3) should be eaten and enjoyed by all family members. A tall order indeed, but this week, I found a new favorite summer dish: Pesto Pasta Salad.

1/2 lb. penne pasta, cooked as directed and drained
1 15.5 can chickpeas, roughly chopped
1/2 of a jar of roasted red peppers, drained and thinly sliced
12 black olives (I like kalamata), pitted and roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, thickly sliced
1/2 cup steamed green beans
1 6-oz can tuna, drained
4 tablespoons homemade or store-bought pesto
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, red peppers, olives, celery, tuna, pesto, salt, and black pepper. Divide among individual plates. Voila!

And as you read through this recipe, you may be thinking, "Ew! Tuna?!" But, give it a try. You may just fall in love with tuna in a whole new way. My first heavenly encounter with tuna in a salad was eating a Salad Nicoise at a cafe in Orange, France, and I have never looked back. Dude, it's so good.

And here's a picture of Orange. I posted it just to remember myself, there, eating a Salad Nicoise. Sigh.

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