“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” ~Ruth Reichl
I’m continuing with my salad evangelism for the time being.
I just had never realised before how wonderful and varied salad could be; as my opinion of it had been marred by the limp iceberg lettuces with soggy tomatoes and awful pickled onion that was the staple salad of the 80s. Or at least it was in my family anyway.
I had never really thought that you can put essentially anything in a salad. Or stopped to think that you could choose to only include things that you actually like. And so I always assumed that between my culinary preferences – mainly the one about my food not being mushy and unappetising – and my allergies, I would never be a regular maker of salads.
Now I have learned otherwise I just want to keep passing on what I’m learning, because salads can be so great that Raj even missed eating them when he was away recently at a conference where his staple diet was burgers.
So far I think this one is my favourite – although it requires some preparation to serve it cold, which is when I feel it is at it’s best.
Pasta and Prawn Summer Salad
- Two courgettes
- a dozen asparagus spears
- a sweet pepper – I used a yellow bell pepper
- sweetcorn – I used a tin of Green Giant sweetcorn, but about half a cup of any sweetcorn will do.
- an onion, finely sliced
- 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 120g pre-cooked prawns
- 150g 50/50 fusilli – that is, fusilli made with 50% whole-wheat flour and 50% white flour, which I feel strikes an appropriate balance between upping our intake of whole grains and not drastically altering the flavour of a dish as wholewheat pasta tends to do.
- a cup of greek yoghurt
- two tablespoons of rose harissa paste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsps chia seeds – if using, they’re not necessary, just a way of adding additional fibre into the meal
- Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/360°F/Gas 4.
- Set your pasta on the stove to cook according to instruction on the packet, then drain and set aside to cool.
- Chop the courgettes, asparagus, and pepper into bite sized pieces, then spread them on a baking tray. Brush them with the oil and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Then set aside to cool.
- Once the roasted vegetables and the pasta are at room temperature combine them in a bowl with the sweetcorn, tomatoes, and sliced onion.
- Add a cup of Greek yoghurt and rose harissa paste, and chia seeds if you’re using them, and toss thoroughly until the salad is evenly coated.