I hope everyone had a happy and healthy Memorial Day weekend, and also that you found some time to remember our fallen. I think sometimes we take to much for granted, and not because we are ungrateful but simply because we take our way of life in this great country as just another day in America. We have had our bad days, 911 was a big one and we rallied like the true Americans we were, but I think we need to hold those values near and dear to us everyday, not just when we are under attack. This is not a time for politics but just for support, nothing more, nothing less.
I was raised in a very non violent home, at a bad time for this country, Vietnam. My father and mother had both served their country during WW2 in the European Theater and my father again in Korea. My father taught us that God, Country and Family were the most important parts of your life, he was far from perfect but he served his country well, earning eight purple hearts, a bronze star, and a chestful of ribbons, more than any man should have had to carry. My mother tells of working in the field as a nurse, and hearing the gunshots and explosions so close that sometimes they would hug the ground on the way to the bathroom. She also tells of POW’s that she treated that wanted to fight next to them against their own comrades, because they no longer believed in the war or that their side was right.
Well before I go off on a tangent I just wanted to remind everyone of the great sacrifices that too many of our countrymen has made, and why most of us got that extra day off this week. Why we got to light our Barbecues, and break bread with our friends and neighbors….. so if you haven’t bowed your head in a silent prayer, take a minute now to do so.
Now lets get on to the food!!
My wife loves pasta salad, at the restaurant we met at, I use to make a few different types for our catering functions, this one is pretty much a mixture of my favorites, of course my wife doesn’t like sun dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers so they are not included in this pasta salad……but I would put them in if we were having guests…so feel free to add them or leave them out.
My one non negotiable item is pasta….I think since it is the main ingredient its an item that you should not skimp on, that’s why I buy De Cecco pasta, either that or Delverde. Use a good pasta, it will hold up better, and it will eat better. You want your pasta to be firm, it should be chewed!! Cook your pasta just at the time suggested, you want it just a bit al dente.
1 lb of tri colour rotini or pasta of your choice
8 oz of button mushrooms
1 pint of grape tomatoes
1 graffiti eggplant, or eggplant of your choice
1 cup of chopped black and green pitted olives
2 tablespoons pesto
1 cup of marinated artichoke hearts drained and chopped
1 cup of Caesar Salad Dressing or Balsamic Dressing
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle of Grated Romano cheese (optional)
Cook the pasta per the instructions on the package and set aside to chill.
slice the zucchini and eggplant into strips drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil , salt and pepper, I prefer to grill these, but you can also roast them. Use the same process with the button mushrooms. When cooled cut into bite size pieces, and mix into pasta.
Slice the grape tomatoes in half, feel free to roast these as well, I happen to like them as they come out of the container.
Chop up about a cup of pitted olives add to pasta.
Add 2 tablespoons of pesto (if you need a recipe follow this link)
Add 8 oz of your favorite Caesar or balsamic dressing, salt and pepper to taste, and if you would like to kick it up a bit add a nice handful of grated Romano cheese . Mix well and allow to chill for at least an hour.
Grilled corn is always a favorite, for years I use to roast it in the husk, get it good and wet and roast it on the grill. Lately I have opted to remove it from the husk and place it directly on the grill. I dry roast it, you can rub it down with olive oil add salt and pepper if you like. But I like to dry roast it on the grill, then rub it down with a good European butter…yum!!
Wegman’s had a nice display of Scallops when I was cruising through the seafood section of the store, and we haven’t had them in so long, I decided it would be a nice addition to the Barbecue!
I just coated the scallops with a little Olive Oil and a touch of Old Bay, and on the Grill they went..
I have to say they certainly were a good choice! Tender moist succulent scallops….what a wonderful treat!
Now I know I could have but I didn’t Barbecue the mussels…..I love the natural juices that come from the mussels as they steam open…..Again not rocket science, just add a two cloves of chopped garlic in a large sauté
Now the juice from these tender little morsels is just phenomenal….these were certainly a wow as well!!
I’m afraid that dessert was just watermelon, and by that time I was too full to get up for the camera, you’ll jut have to imagine the red juicy chunks of ice cold watermelon…..sigh…its a good life!!
Just to let you know our fur babies got to celebrate to, they got some new bones
This is Beau our Rescue Bernese Mountain Dog, the sweetest boy ever put on this earth!
This is Lucy our perfect little Berner we had since a puppy!
So I hope everyone got to enjoy this beautiful weekend with their friends and family or simply relaxing as we did! Now its back to work for me (only two weeks left…sigh…..where does the time go).
See you all back at the Mount!