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       Today is another “farm girl” recipe day. This is my all time favorite salad for summer. Most of the ingredients come fresh from the garden and the flavor is fabulous. I can easily eat the entire recipe myself. Earl will eat this but the boys won’t touch it with a ten foot pole. It has way too many colors……..     012.jpg       Fresh basil……the secret ingredient. This stuff is wonderful. I’ll even stick a stem of it in my hair before I head to the barn for chores. Crazy, I know……but it works wonders. When the stress level gets to be extreme I just reach up and pinch the leaves and the smell is “heaven”. You can imagine what the leaves look like by the time milking time is finished. So, do you have this in your garden? If not……sneak into your neighbors garden after dark and “borrow” some. Confess your mess later.  Grocery store basil sucks.    014.jpg     Chop up some fresh cucumber. I eat cucumbers all summer long. Store bought doesn’t have near the flavor, but they work in the wintertime when I’m desperate.      011.jpg      Chunk cheese. Here I used Colby-Jack….but any yellow cheese will do. Yellow, because you want color……and Colby is my favorite. You could also use smoked cheddar. That sounds kinda daring.     013.jpg     Of course…..tomatoes. All those little cherry tomatoes that you don’t know what to do with. I only have red ones this year, but I’ll add yellow if I have them. More color?!   Here’s the recipe……….

16 ounces penne pasta Cooked and drained. Let cool.

Cherry tomatoes sliced in half (I eyeball these and add whatever I feel the need for)

Yellow chunk cheese cubed (here again I dump in to my hearts desire because I’m a cheese lover….maybe 3 cups or so)

Fresh basil chopped to pieces (I love this, so I put in lots….maybe 2 cups chopped)

     These ingredients are very versatile, so add and detract whatever fits your taste buds. Don’t forget the dressing……this is very important.

1 cup mayo (my extended family members are die-hard miracle whip fans. I almost got excommunicated when they discovered I did the “switch” to mayo)

1/2 cup whole milk (notice I said “whole”)

5 tablespoons white vinegar

4-5 teaspoons adobo sauce (canned chipotle peppers)

3/4 teaspoon salt

sprinkling of black pepper

Stir all dressing ingredients together and pour over the pasta. I always eat a bowl full right away, but after you let it chill and pop the lid off you’ll gasp in horror. Where did the dressing go?! Do not panic…..just splash in a bit of “cream” and give it a stir. Perfection!    015.jpg      And there you have it….the best in the West!! Leave a spoon in the bowl and help yourself every time you walk past the fridge. Addictive……………………….Carol