For a while now I've been trying to experiment with Salads that are more "main course". I came across some very interesting Pasta salad recipes on Epicurious.com, and these seemed to be a perfect choice for main-course salad meals. This Pasta Salad with peppers, tomato and Green Olivada, is all vegetarian, and we enjoyed this served with a grilled fillet of Salmon. Needless to say, it was a very satisfying meal, and a nice break from our usual weeknight dinner :)
PASTA SALAD WITH PEPPERS, CHERRY TOMATOES AND GREEN OLIVADA
1 large clove Garlic, peeled
1/2 cup pitted Green Olives, roughly chopped
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata Olives, roughly chopped,
2 tbsp Capers, drained
1 tbsp Red wine Vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Red chilli flakes
1/4 cup Extra-virgin Olive oil
Ingredients for Salad:
1 cup Whole-wheat pasta ( I used Fusilli)
1 cup Cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh Mozzarella balls
2 tbsp fresh Oregano / or Basil, chopped
1 Red bell pepper (capsicum), finely sliced
Method for Olivada:
1.) Mince the garlic clove in a food processor. Add the Olives, capers, and all other ingredients except the Olive oil.
2.) Process on 'pulse' mode till chunky. Add the olive oil little by little and puree the mixture into a thick-ish paste-like consistency. Set aside.
Method for Salad:
1.) Cook the pasta in salted boiling water till its cooked, but not too soft and still has some 'bite'. Drain the hot water and pour chilled / iced water over the cooked pasta to keep it from cooking with any residual heat. Let it drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
2.) Drizzle the pasta with some extra virgin Olive oil and season with freshly cracked pepper and gently toss to coat.
3.) Add the halved cherry tomatoes, sliced bell peppers (capsicum) and mozzarella balls.
4.) Add the Olive paste (Olivada) and toss to coat the pasta and vegetables. Best served chilled.
YOGHURT MARINATED GRILLED SALMON FILLET
350 g x 2 nos, Salmon fillets
1 cup Yoghurt (slighly sour)
1-1/2 tbsp Cumin powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
1 wedge of lime
Salt, to taste
1.) Mix the yoghurt with the rest of the spices and other ingredients.
2.) Rinse the fillets under running water and pat dry. Make 1/2" deep slits in the flesh of the fish.
3.) Rub the marinade all over the fillet and allow it to marinate for atleast 2 hours or preferably overnight.
4.) Heat the grill. Shake of excess marinade from the fillet and grill under high heat till nicely browned to your liking... I like the meat to be slightly scorched in parts... yum! Allow the fish to rest for a few minutes. Squirt some lime juice and Eat up!