Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mint Basil Pesto Pasta Salad

My roommates are convinced I'm going to turn into a watermelon. Or a plum. Or a nectarine.

I've been functioning on a steady diet of fruit, yogurt, chicken and cereal for the last month as I attempt to recuperate from a work-induced repetitive stress injury.

Not that obsessive consumption of summer fruit is that odd for me, but I need to blame my lack of posting on something. Same goes for the lack of tweeting and perhaps responding to e-mails.

Yeah, I suck. Whatever.

Anyway, I concocted this dish at the beginning of the month in preparation for Battle Beer Can Chicken, which was being held at the home of You Fed a Baby Chili? on July 4th.

That would be "wheat" of rice & wheat.

Inspired by the small mint, basil and cherry tomato farm growing in my backyard, I decided to concoct a pasta salad that is not only transportable but doesn't require refrigeration.

Besides, we all know I hate mayonnaise.

Regardless, with the fresh taste of mint, shredded asiago, baby spinach and an assortment of heirloom tomatoes, my pasta salad is still better than that traditional stuff any day.

Clearly my ego hasn't deflated in the last month.

In happier news, this weekend is the Gilroy Garlic Festival, and since I happen to be the woman who puts garlic in chocolate and just about everything else, I can't even begin to explain the excitement I am currently feeling.

I already have a list of edibles that will be making their way into my mouth:
  • Garlic ice cream
  • Garlic stuffed mushrooms
  • Garlic almonds
  • Garlic popcorn
  • Garlic fried green tomatoes
Stay tuned for photos and a review that is sure to incite jealousy.

Mint Basil Pesto Pasta Salad

1 1/2 cup packed fresh mint
1 cup packed fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup olive oil
4 tbsp. grated Asiago cheese
1 lemon, juiced

1 lb. al dente pasta
8-12 oz. baby spinach
pint of baby tomatoes

To make pesto:

Puree mint, basil, garlic and lemon in food processor. Remove and mix in olive oil and cheese by hand.* Salt and pepper to taste.

*It's important to do this by hand because blending olive oil can cause it to turn bitter.

To put together pasta salad:

Toss together pesto, spinach and split tomatoes about an hour before serving, tossing in a little extra cheese if desired.


jodi said...

This looks so good! Must try it. And I'm looking forward to hearing about garlic almonds.

Maureen said...

This pasta dish looks fantastic! I have never tried beer can chicken but it looks like I must. Glad to see you posting :)

Isabelle @ Crumb said...

Garlic ice cream? I am simultaneously intrigued and disgusted. :)
BTW, I am in total agreement with you on mayonnaise in pasta salads. Ick. You're quite justified in bragging about this pesto version... love the idea of using mint, especially since my mint patch is almost waist-high at this point.

angi said...

yum! and yay, you're back! but hey, i know how it is when life gets too busy and it's hard to post... so you don't have to make excuses for me. ;)

Erin said...

Garlic ice cream? I can't decide what that would be like! This pasta salad looks wonderful! I love pesto, so why not put it in pasta salad!

Monet said...

I always get so excited when I see one of your posts on my blog reader. I'm sorry about your injury (I had a similar stress injury too!) but I'm glad you have been eating all those fruits and veggies. It does the body good! Thank you for sharing, my friend. I'm craving pasta and wishing I could have had THIS for dinner. Blessings and love from Austin!

Baker Street said...

S - The pasta looks fantastic.

Wait a min, did you say garlic ice cream?! Really. I can't wait to see the pictures and hear more about it.

Erica said...

Looks so good and healthy!

San Diego Catering

asianskinny.com said...

This looks great! Thanks for sharing!

I just found your blog and absolutely love it! My fiance finished law school last yr (and passed the CA bar) and considers himself a "houseman" now because he can't find a job. HAHA.

Elizabeth said...

Delicious looking concoction. I'm so over the mayo based pasta salads anyway.

Garlic ice cream? I dunno about that one...can't wait to hear more about it!

RavieNomNoms said...

Now that is a great looking pasta salad!! I love pesto and with the mint in there? Wow, what a great addition

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