Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lemony, Corny, Pasta Salad

I love a challenge, particularly when it comes to cooking. Sometimes the best challenges come in the form of contests that I enter.

In this case, it was a Kitchen Play contest sponsored by Dreamfields pasta. The deal with these contests is that you have to recreate/revise/riff on a recipe that another blogger created for the month's menu, using the sponsor's product.

Coincidentally, I recently did a review of Dreamfields pasta, so I had some on hand, If you want to read more about what I thought of it, check out my comments and my recipe.

The recipe I chose to riff off of was a pasta salad with corn.

That recipe had a Mexican slant, with jalapenos and cilantro. I decided to go Mediterranean, instead. I kept the corn, tbough. I like the sweet pop of corn kernels in the salad. Instead of hot peppers, I used a sweet bell pepper. And of course, different spices.

Chilled pasts makes a great summer side dish, or a light lunch. But boiling water for pasta can heat up your house a bit, right?

I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I cooked the corn first - putting it in cold salted water and bringing it to a boil, and cooking until done - then I removed the corn and used the same water to cook the pasta. I mean, why not?

Lemony Corny Pasta Salad
1 ear of fresh corn
1/2 box Dreamfield's rotini, cooked
1 small zucchini
2 pickling cucumbers
2 (very) small yellow squash (or one small)
1/2 orange or red pepper
1 tablespoon fresh snipped chives
1 tablespoon fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon garlic oil

I cooked several ears of corn, but only used one for the pasta. When the corn was done, I used the same water - already at the boil, to cook the pasta. You don't need to do it that way, but it saves you from heating up an extra pot of water.

When the pasta is done, rinse it under cold water.

Meanwhile, prep the vegetables and put them in a large bowl. Remove the corn kernels from the cob. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise and slice thinly. Peel the cucumbers and slice thinly. Cut the yellow squash in quarters lengthwise and slice thinly. Cut the peppers into a medium dice.

Add the herbs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and oil to the vegetables. Add the pasta and toss together.

Serve chilled.


Casey at Kitchen PLAY said...

What a great variation! I'm wondering if the pasta picked up extra corn flavor from being boiled in the same water.

Also, here's a link to a coupon for Dreamfields if your readers want to try it for themselves:

Thanks for playing, Donna, and good luck!


Donna Currie said...

Thanks for the coupon, Casey! The pasta didn't taste strongly of corn, but it might have picked up just a hit of flavor. On a hot day, though, it made so much more sense than bringing a second pot of water up to a boil.

mia xara said...

What a nice summer-y and colorful macaroni salad!Excellent for a BBQ! Have a great Sunday, Donna!

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