Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mediterranean Pasta Salad & Chocolate Peanut Treats

Two League members brought recipes from Tastes & Treasures for the luncheon at our February meeting. Bonnie Newhoff prepared the Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Basil (page 175) and Margaret Baker made the Chocolate Peanut Treats (page 162.)

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Basil

Basil Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups fusilli or penne
6 ounces haricots verts, trimmed
Salt to taste
2 large tomatoes chopped, or small grape tomatoes
Sliced kalamata olvies
2 cups fresh basil leaves, stacked and thinly sliced
1 (7-ounce) can oil-pack tuna, drained and flaked
2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced or chopped
Capers, drained and rinsed
For the viniaigrette, whisk the vinegar, basil, garlic, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl until combined. Add the olive oil gradually, whisking constantly until the olive oil is incorporated.
For the salad, cook the pasta using the package directions and drain. Toss the hot pasta with a small amount of the vinaigrette in a bowl. Blanch the green beans in a small amount of boiling salted water in a saucepan until tender-crisp and drain. Immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and drain.

Layer the pasta, tomatoes, olives, basil, green beans and tuna in a large salad bowl, drizzling each layer with some of the vinaigrette. Toss lightly and top with the hard-cooked eggs and capers.

Serves 4.