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Pasta salads


Are pasta salads more a summer thing? Pasta salads were never in my repertoire until recently, when I hired a caterer for a political event and one of the dishes was pasta salad. It was good, so I resolved to add pasta salad to the competencies of the abbey kitchen.

One of the cool things about pasta salad is that it’s a work of imagination. What have you got in the kitchen, and what can you do with it? The pasta salad above is artichoke hearts, a winter tomato, raw walnuts, roasted peanuts, and Roquefort. It’s dressed with a dressing that is sorta-kinda ranch.

The previous pasta salad was a warm pasta salad with seared shredded cabbage, walnuts, peanuts, and a dressing that included toasted sesame oil and brewer’s yeast.

Trader Joe’s, by the way, has canned artichoke hearts at a reasonable price. TJ’s also has proven to be my best source of affordable avocados that almost always ripen nicely. Even Roquefort (and other good cheeses) are affordable at Trader Joe’s. I’m aware that Trader Joe’s is disparaged by Californians as the Walmart of the grocery business. But shopping wisely at Trader Joes’ (lousy produce!) can really stretch the food budget.

Pasta salad should be a creative mixture of tastes and textures. Now if I can just stop myself from buying Bacon Bits…


  1. Henry wrote:

    Not all Californians dislike TJ’s. I go there for the veggies and wine and the occasional bread amongst other good things; cheese 😉

    Friday, February 12, 2016 at 9:04 pm | Permalink
  2. Henry wrote:

    I know you may not like this…but where I live there is a Walmart grocer – where I buy the avocados for .50 a piece when they have them and they are very tasty. I am really picky about Avocados being I’ve eaten them all my life, about 70 years now. My grandpa used to get them at the Produce market in So SF near the airport. It was a trip to go there in the 40’s & 50’s

    Friday, February 12, 2016 at 9:10 pm | Permalink
  3. daltoni wrote:

    Ha! I’d buy avocados anywhere I could get them for 50 cents!

    Obviously avocados are cheaper in California than they are here. $1 each at Trader Joe’s is about the best I can do.

    Friday, February 12, 2016 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

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