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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quick Artichoke Salad

Now that summer is here with very hot days, I didn’t want to heat up the house by using the oven and at 90 degrees, it is too hot to be outside grilling dinner.  I went to my stack of recipes to try that I print after watching programs on the Food Network, and I found the recipe for Quick Artichoke Salad by Sunny Anderson.

I already had all the ingredients in the pantry and I could see the only item to heat would be the boiling water for the bowtie pasta.  I gathered all the ingredients and started to work.  The recipe calls for ½ pound of the bowtie pasta, and the bag that I had contained a full pound, so I went ahead and cooked the contents of the entire bag.  Because I was using twice the pasta, I doubled the remainder of the recipe.  While the pasta boiled, I sliced a full can of black olives, chopped a small red onion (the onion I didn’t double), 8 sun dried tomatoes (I used dry tomatoes, not the ones soaked in oil).  I used the remainder (about half) of a supersized jar of artichoke hearts, making sure all the pieces were quartered.

Once I prepared each ingredient, I dumped it in a large mixing bowl.  When the bowtie pasta were cooked, I drained the water from the pan and added the pasta to the rest of the ingredients in the bowl.  I added twice as much of the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and olive oil on top of the rest of the ingredients and stirred to mix.  I covered the salad with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator to cool and for the flavors to mingle for about thirty minutes until we were ready to eat.

While the salad cooled, I sautéed a chicken breast in the liquid left over from the jar of artichoke hearts.  At dinner time, I served the salad and found that I should have used a large spoon to mix the salad instead of the large fork, because the onion and garlic were still at the bottom of the bowl.  Fortunately, when I served the salad, I used a large spoon and mixed everything together to get a good distribution of ingredients.  We had a great dinner of the sautéed chicken breast and artichoke salad.  We were surprised at how much of the dressing the pasta absorbed and I ended up adding even more lemon juice, red wine vinegar and olive oil to the remaining salad.

The artichoke salad was very sweet tasting: possibly due to the red wine vinegar.  My wife had some feedback for me on the salad.  She really liked the taste and ingredients, but she would like more dressing, some additional color interest like raw broccoli and maybe some julienned Italian salami.  I realized when I was writing about making this recipe, that I forgot to add the chopped parsley leaves, which would have added some nice color to the salad.

Neither one of us liked the chopped onion pieces, because the pieces were small and tended to sift to the bottom of the bowl.  My wife suggested using quartered strips of the red onion that would stay suspended in the pasta, unlike the small chunks.

I am keeping this recipe to use again, possibly when we need to take a cold salad to a picnic or a party.  I will add some other ingredients like the salami, broccoli, green olives, carrot and whatever else I find in the refrigerator.  Hmmm, I should have added some of the fennel bulb and stalk.  Oh well, next time.

Find the recipe here:

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

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