Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Perfect Pasta Salad and Tips for Making Your Summer Salads

Make the most of this season of salads with your own freshly made dressings and salads. These tips will help your salad be the hit of the party.

- Refrigerate your plates before serving; it keeps the salad crisp and fresh.
- Don’t dress until service, the salad gets soggy.
- Use lighter dressings for delicate greens so the dressing doesn’t overpower the ingredients.
- When using pasta in salads, cook al dente as the pasta absorbs moisture from vegetables and if cooked too long, the pasta will become mushy, especially gluten free pastas.

Today we are making an Italian Dressing, but you can make your own using these guidelines

Dressings main ingredients include: Oil, Acid (like Lemon Juice or Vinegar*), Seasonings & Flavorings and Herbs**

*TIP: When choosing vinegar look for a strength of acidity around 5, if
higher; dilute slightly with water.

**TIP: when using dry herbs over fresh, prepare dressing hours in advance so herbs can permeate dressing – If you use dried herbs, cut the quantity in ½.

Most salads are made of oil & vinegar mixture.
The standard ratio is:
3 parts oil to
1 part vinegar.
If greater than a 3 to 1 ratio more bland
If less than a 3 to 1 ratio more tart
On to the eats!

Pasta Salad w/Zucchini, Squash & Cherry Tomatoes
Serves 6

1 pound GF Pasta, cooked & cooled
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, small diced
1 clove garlic, creamed
1 medium zucchini, small dice
1 medium squash, small dice
1 pound cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
Heat saute pan over medium heat for 1 minute, add olive oil and heat another minute.
Add onion, saute until clear and translucent, add garlic, saute another minute.
Add squash and zucchini, saute until tender.
Add tomatoes at end, saute for 1 minute, set aside.

Italian Dressing Serves 16-1 oz portions

½ cup wine vinegar
1½ teaspoons Kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1½ cups extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1½ teaspoons dried oregano
¼ cup flat leaf parsley
Dissolve salt and black pepper in vinegar.
Add oil, garlic, oregano and parsley to blender to create an emulsion.
Re-mix dressing right before serving.
Mix all ingredients together once cooled, adding dressing to taste, save the remaining dressing for other salads!

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