Sunday, July 5, 2009

Pasta salad with creamy pesto

I made this macaroni salad in order to use some of my lovely CSA produce, along with some local tomatoes I got at Central Market! I know I just made a pesto potato salad, but the 8 bunches of basil I got were starting to wilt, and I really didn't want to chuck them. That would break my self-challenge! I will definitely try to do something other than pesto with the basil next week.

I really liked the pesto with some dijon and vinegar. You really could use a variety of veggies, like broccoli, celery, or add some olives, etc. It was also good and flavorful the next day.
CSA produce used:
carrots, basil, green onion, radishes, and cucumber

1/2 lb elbow macaroni or other small pasta
2 small carrots, thinly sliced
3 radishes, thinly sliced
2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
2-3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
fresh flat leaf parsley and oregano

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While you are waiting, slice all the veggies and put in a large bowl along with the chopped parsley and oregano.

Put the basil, pine nuts, and cheese in a food processor. Mix together, then add dijon, vinegar, about 1/2 tsp salt and some pepper. Add the olive oil while the machine runs, until the pesto reaches a creamy consistency.

It is so pretty. I could have just eaten this plain!
Taste and adjust seasonings.

When the pasta is done, drain it and rinse under cold water to cool it down. Shake off extra water and add to the bowl of veggies. Stir in the pesto sauce, taste, and add any extra salt, pepper, parsley or oregano.

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