Tuesday, July 3, 2012

In the kitchen: summery grain-free 'pasta' salad!

A few years ago, I dated a guy who made the world's most delicious pasta salad. I know, I know-- you're wondering if I have perhaps recently lost my mind, because let's be real: pasta salad, while decent, has never been one of those holy-buckets-I-shall-eat-this-on-the-daily kind of foods. But for whatever reason, this guy made a mean pasta salad, and that year, we ate it pretty much weekly and I deemed it the perfect hot-weather food. (I also may have been trying to bolster the ego of a cute boy who was trying to impress me with his cooking skills, but I promise it was delicious nonetheless.) That relationship is now over, but most importantly: I left it with the recipe for the world's tastiest pasta salad, and today, I'm going to share it with you.

Um, except, minus the pasta. 

What the what, Mary? is what you're saying right now, I can only imagine. Except remember how I don't eat grains anymore? So pasta is out. But it's still a balmy 100+ degrees outside, and the last thing I want to do every night is cook something hot in my already sweltering kitchen, and thus I had to take my beloved recipe, remove the pasta, and make it even tastier. Lucky for me (and you!) I figured it out, and can safely say I'll be nom'ing on this long after shorts weather is over. 

Not-your-ex-boyfriend's pasta-less salad! 
(wordy name, delicious dish.) 

  • 1 c. black olives
  • 1 c. chopped mushrooms
  • 2-4 tomatoes
  • 1 ball fresh mozzarella
  • 1-2 green peppers
  • 1/2 c. marinated artichokes
  • 2 T. italian dressing base
Chop your veggies. Chop your mozzarella. (hide your kids, hide your wife) Toss all into a bowl, sprinkle with italian dressing base, pour a little of the olive oil from your marinated artichoke hearts into the bowl (you can always just use regular olive oil here instead!), stir. Stick that baby into the fridge to marinate for a few hours, as it only gets better when it gets colder + marinated. Enjoy! I like to share it with people I'm trying to impress, or just go to town eating it for every single meal every single day of this heat wave, forever and ever amen. 

(Note on the servings: feel free to adjust number of ingredients as necessary-- I like to make just enough for one Mary to enjoy as a few meals juuust before I get sick of eating leftovers... or enough for one Mary & one cute boy :))

Just in time for the 4th of July: what are your favorite easy summertime dishes?


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