Monday, October 3, 2011

Summer Fresh Fruit Pasta

I've been focusing on taking advantage of these final summer fruits and vegetables this week.  While I can hardly wait for autumn comfort food, butternut squash soup and cheesy casseroles, I know we will all miss the bright, sweet flavors that are passing with the long days and warm nights.  So here we go...

Summer Fresh Fruit Pasta

Elbow Brown Rice Pasta, cooked (or noodle of your choice)
Fresh Strawberries, diced
Fresh Peaches, diced
Feta Cheese or Goat Cheese
Fresh Basil and/or Mint
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil

Make sure the pasta is very cold.  Here's a little trick to speed that up if you are in trying to make this dish quickly.

Just let it sit in the sink with the ice in strainer. (I try to pull those big chunks out of the freezer that block up the ice dispenser and use them.) Fish out the ice cubes left when the pasta is cold and you are ready to toss it.
Here's my little basil trick...might be old news to some of you, but it's worth sharing if you like fresh herbs.

Stack basil, or mint, or any other large leaf veggie, in a pile.

Roll them up!
Run your knife through from one end to the other.  This will give you nice, long, chiffonade (a cutting technique.)  You can leave them like this, or . . .
Run your knife through it again, perpendicular to the first cuts.  Now you can finely chopped, fresh herbs without bruising the leaves to heck! Yeah!
And your kitchen will smell AMAZING!

Gently fold in the fruit, cheese and herbs.  Generously drizzle with the vinegar and oil (maybe 2-3 TBS each).  Toss again gently to coat evenly.  Serve and enjoy!

These ingredients were just too pretty to ignore.  Doesn't our Creator provide beautiful food for us!

My kids gobbled this up for lunch on Saturday.  The fruit gets a little mushy if it sits too long so just make enough for one meal.  Add some grilled chicken or shrimp for a light dinner.  YUM!

You will notice there are no measurements, so use proportions to your personal taste...honestly, that's how I cook most of the time.  Just make it up as I go by smelling, tasting and looking as the meal comes together in front of me.  It's so fun and, while yes, sometimes things are a total flop...more often than not, we end up with truly unique and delicious things!  Try it!  It's addicting!