NorCal Homes Healthy Habit: June
When you’re a kid, Summer is magical… staying up a little later, eating lunch outside instead of being stuck inside a cafeteria, and the pool parties that you spend all week looking forward to. As we get older, Summer doesn’t lose its charm, but all of the activities that seemingly threw themselves together as a kid now take time and preparation, as those awesome pool parties slowly turned themselves into more of a potluck than a careless day in the sun. Don’t get me wrong, those days by the pool with your family and friends never loses their merriment, it just takes a little more planning than it used to.
I know I’m not the only one who’s guilty of sitting down to write up the shopping list of ingredients needed to put together my contribution to Saturday’s festivities, and I find that I have once again ended up with a list of things needed to throw together a pasta salad. Pasta salad, potato salad, macaroni salad… really? Again, Taylor? Thus, my inspiration for this month’s dish was my desire to find something different, not the typical and expected side dish. However, at the same time, I don’t want to spend a small fortune on feeding a bunch of kids that would be just as happy with a bag of Cheetos and a Capri Sun. In an effort to find something that will not only appeal to the rugrats who have worked up an appetite by jumping into the pool, climbing back out, and repeating those steps a couple hundred times, their parents, and my wallet, I give you “Bruschetta Pasta Salad”. 🙂
BUT WAIT… There’s more! If you want to add a little something extra to the dish, I have included an additional recipe for Marinated Tomatoes. Marinating the tomatoes before you add them to the Bruschetta Pasta Salad will add some serious depth and intense flavor to your party contribution.
BRUSCHETTA PASTA SALAD
Source: A Pretty Life
- 3 cups cooked pasta
- 5 tomatoes, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 tbsp red onion, chopped finely
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch basil, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 – 4 tsp balsamic vinegar (to your taste)
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
- In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, onions, garlic, chopped basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese.
- Let this mixture rest for at least 15 minutes.
- Then toss the tomato mixture with the cooked noodles.
- Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
- You can serve and enjoy this recipe right away, or let it rest for up to an hour before enjoying!
Marinated tomatoes work well with store-bought firm roma tomatoes or a variety of firm homegrown tomatoes. You can even use a variety of different colored tomatoes. Prepping the tomatoes is faster and simpler than it seems and these keep really well in the refrigerator.
- 6 lbs firm roma tomatoes
- 1 liter water
- 28 oz ketchup
- 2 Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 small bunch Dill
- ⅓ bunch Parsley
- ⅓ bunch Cilantro
- 8-10 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped (not pressed)
- Boil a large pot of water. Rinse tomatoes and place them in a large pot or bowl. Pour boiling water over tomatoes, place a plate over the top to submerge them in water and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Drain tomatoes, reserving 1 liter of water and set water aside to cool. Use a small
- paring knife to remove skins. Quarter tomatoes and place into a deep bowl.
- Use reserved 1 liter of warm (not hot) water and stir in: 28 oz ketchup, 2 Tbsp kosher salt, 2 Tbsp sugar, chopped dill, parsley, cilantro, and garlic.
- Pour over tomatoes making sure tomatoes are completely covered with liquid. Jiggle the bowl to distribute sauce but avoid stirring so tomatoes stay firm. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.