Monday, August 3, 2009

camp prep and a recipe

So, I've been trying in vain to get ready for camp. One of my main worries is a baby monitor. Ours run on batteries, but the range is really small (as is our house) and the batteries die a quick death. So I thought maybe a walkie talkie set would work. I bought a set, but it is too smart for it's own good. It turns off after the push to talk button is pressed for a minute "to save battery life". Lame. So I am going back to Target to get the model that is voice activated. We will see. While watering my garden this morning, I noticed three ripe tomatoes and some basil that needed to be picked. So I made a Caprese Pasta Salad for dinner. It was actually really good- kind of like a cross between caprese and bruschetta. The Caprese salad is usually mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil with balsamic vinegar on it. Easy enough to convert.

1/2 pound pasta -I used rotini but anything would work- macaroni or shells maybe
3 golf-ball sized tomatoes
handful of basil
1/2 pound of fresh mozzarella- this is the stuff in water. It is less firm than the "aged" kind. You could used the other kind if you had it.
2 cloves of garlic (don't use 2 huge cloves. MMM Garlic. All. Night. Long.)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive or veg oil (I used Canola. We are out of Olive. Sad days)
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper

Cook the pasta (Do I need to tell you this?)
Mix the vinegar, oil, and honey together. (Okay, so the honey sounds weird, but we added it at the table and it mellowed the flavors without being too present itself.) (Also, go easy on the vinegar unless you know you like vinegar.)
Cut the tomatoes into small chunks. Put it in the mixture to marinade. Make the garlic into a very fine mince or paste. (I used a garlic mincer/press thing. It makes a really fine mince easy.) Add the garlic in. Add some salt to speed the process along.
Cut the cheese into similar sized pieces to the tomatoes. (Don't add yet.)
Chiffonade (ribbons) the basil. Add it to the tomatoes.

When the pasta is done, run cool water over it to cool it off some. If it's too hot, it will melt the cheese. Dump it in with the tomatoes and then add the cheese. Stir to combine.

You can serve it now, or chill it probably up to a day. (So you can make it early in the day when it is still cool and not heat up the kitchen.)

I was surprised by how filling this was. I meant to add some white beans for protein, and forgot, but I am still sure they would be good here. I also thought about some italian sausage or pepperoni. This would also make a fine side salad for a piece of grilled chicken. I don't think I will ever just eat a tomato out of hand, but they are becoming increasingly more welcome on my plate in their raw form. (As long as I can smother them in garlic, onion, or vinegar- i.e. salsa, bruschetta, or this.) This was a wonderful meal for a hot summer's day.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

That sounds like such a refreshing salad! I SO wish I liked tomatoes. I hope that the walkie talkies work at camp. That would be really helpful. I hope you have fun too.